Vandoorne keen to emulate Magnussen's "fresh start"

Stoffel Vandoorne believes he can follow Kevin Magnussen’s example and reset his Formula 1 career after being dropped by McLaren.

Vandoorne keen to emulate Magnussen's "fresh start"

Like Vandoorne, Magnussen is a product of McLaren’s young driver programme. He was let go at the end of 2015, after just one complete season as part of its F1 line-up.

Magnussen rebuilt his career by moving first to Renault, then to Haas, where he has thrived in a less pressured and politically charged atmosphere.

“I feel a lot of support still from people high up in the Formula 1 paddock, let’s say, and people realise what the situation has been here at McLaren,” said Vandoorne.

“Ask Kevin [Magnussen], he’s been in a kind of similar situation and I think he really benefitted from having a fresh start.

"It’s something I’m quite looking forward to as well, to have a fresh start and see what the future holds.”

It is now a decade since a McLaren driver won the world championship, and the team has endured a lengthy trough in form since 2013. Pressure from various stakeholders to reverse the slump has resulted in a number of substantial management changes and high-profile recruitments, and the political situation remains febrile.

Magnussen was demoted to reserve status in 2015 and claims to have received his notice of termination via email later that year. He endured a troubled year at Renault in an interim car, but since joining Haas at the beginning of 2017 has demonstrated a marked upswing in form.

He now says he is enjoying his racing more, shorn of the “negative pressure” of his early years.

Vandoorne has been under a similar degree of pressure during two fraught seasons with McLaren, during which the team underwent a messy divorce from its engine supplier Honda.

But the Belgian, who admitted his chances of staying in F1 in 2019 are now "very slim" and has been in talks with IndyCar outfit Dale Coyne Racing, refuses to criticise McLaren.

“McLaren was there very early in my career and in a way they’ve made part of my career as well,” he said.

“They’ve helped me through GP2 and Japan, then they gave me the opportunity to race in Formula 1 as well. So I will always be grateful for the opportunities I’ve had.”

Additional reporting by Edd Straw

Kevin Magnussen, test and reserve driver, McLaren

Kevin Magnussen, test and reserve driver, McLaren

Photo by: Steven Tee / LAT Images

shares
comments
Sainz: Renault must be "very careful" with Force India

Previous article

Sainz: Renault must be "very careful" with Force India

Next article

F1 grid missing "at least two teams" - Russell

F1 grid missing "at least two teams" - Russell
Load comments
How Verstappen has become F1 champion material Prime

How Verstappen has become F1 champion material

As Red Bull and Honda go all-out for victory in the Japanese engine manufacturer’s last season of its latest Formula 1 dalliance, Max Verstappen finds himself thrust into a compelling title fight with Lewis Hamilton. He told OLEG KARPOV about his evolution into a world championship contender and why Red Bull's no compromise ethos suits him down to the ground

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle Prime

Why long-run times should please Red Bull in Austin F1 battle

Mercedes has been on a roll of late in the ultra-tight fight to win the 2021 Formula 1 world championship. It started off well in practice at Austin for this weekend’s US Grand Prix, but Red Bull got closer as Friday unfolded and even seemed to find an edge in one critical area of what seems set to be set to be another close contest.

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Prime

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Prime

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Formula 1
Oct 22, 2021
Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Prime

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looks back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Prime

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Prime

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Prime

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Tim Wright.

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021