Stoffel Vandoorne insists he will not let his effort drop in the final seven races of the season despite confirmation that he will leave McLaren at the end of the year.
McLaren announced on the Monday after the Italian Grand Prix that Vandoorne will not be retained after two seasons with the team, confirming Lando Norris as his replacement in 2019. While facing an uncertain future and having struggled for the majority of this season, Vandoorne insists he won’t let his current situation distract him from trying to produce results in the remaining races.
“Last year was my first experience of racing in Singapore and I really enjoyed it,” Vandoorne said. “In fact, it was there and in Malaysia that I scored my best result yet in Formula 1, in seventh place. It’s a track that definitely suits the strengths of our package more than others, so I’m hopeful of a more positive weekend where we can show improved pace and take the fight to our competitors.
“Although I’m very much looking to the future since I confirmed I won’t be racing for McLaren next season, I’m also 100 percent determined to give everything for the remaining grands prix this season. Both the team and I are pushing very hard to get the best results we can with what we have, and it’s certainly not over yet.”
Norris has had the opportunity to appear in FP1 in each of the last two races, but despite there being no clash with Formula 2 this weekend McLaren sporting director Gil de Ferran says the reserve driver will not be present at the Marina Bay street circuit.
“This race has produced hugely entertaining race weekends in the past and I hope this year it will be no different,” de Ferran said. “We are optimistic that our package should perform better on this type of track, but of course nothing is guaranteed, especially at a grand prix as unpredictable as this.
“Although we confirmed our full driver line-up last week, we won’t have Lando with us in Singapore since he’ll be conducting valuable race simulation with the team back at the factory. The race team, Fernando (Alonso) and Stoffel will all be working hard to find as much performance as possible this weekend with the aim of bringing home some valuable points.”