Formula 1 | After his Formula E title, can Vandoorne return to F1?

After his Formula E title, Vandoorne

A year after Nyck de Vries, another Mercedes driver became Formula E champion this year: Stoffel Vandoorne.

After having suffered so much against Fernando Alonso at McLaren, the rating of Stoffel Vandoorne, certainly a brilliant GP2 champion, had however sunk in the F1 paddock at the end of 2018.

Subsequently, it took four years and difficult beginnings in the discipline at Stoffel Vandoorne, with HWA, to end up winning; for the Belgian, the harshness of this apprenticeship in FE, which former Alfa Romeo Antonio Giovinazzi also noticed this year, was inevitable.

“I have just come back from a long trip! When I first joined Formula E – when was that, late 2018, early 2019 – everything was brand new to me. But also, even when I did my first race, I was still combining this program with Formula 1 at the time. So my mind was still kind of in between and not really 100% focused on it, let’s say. »

“At first it was difficult. So yes, the beginning was painful. I think it was necessary, almost, to go through a difficult phase like that for everyone to realize that « it’s not going to be easy ». It’s a real championship. »

“I think the competitiveness at the end was just amazing. It was crazy how close everyone was. We are talking about 0.3% difference. It showed how important it was, week in and week out, to be able to get the car setup right. »

“Coming home with a world championship is quite special. It doesn’t happen to a lot of people, a lot of pilots. So I’m very proud to have finally won the world championship. »

Isn’t Stoffel Vandoorne too disappointed to see the Mercedes team leave Formula E to focus on other championships?

“Of course I think it’s a shame, I would have preferred to continue with Mercedes in this championship. »

“When I joined the team, I had in mind that it would be a long collaboration. But everything has an end and we must continue. »

« Luckily everyone knew about the decision last year, so it’s not like it was a surprise. They gave everyone the opportunity to work out their plans for the future. »

The Mercedes team in Formula E will become the McLaren team: will Stoffel Vandoorne be part of the adventure?

“I won’t be driving for them next year, but I have confidence in what I will announce. »

Does he hope for a return to F1?

Does the Belgian hope, you never know, that this title in Formula E will restore his image to succeed in a possible return to F1? He himself, however, remains skeptical.

“I drove in Formula 1 for two years, in 2017 and 2018. I don’t feel like I can end up, one day, coming back to F1. »

“But you should never say never. It’s a crazy world and anything is possible. »

« It’s not that I feel like I really need to come back to Formula 1. I had a great opportunity to drive for Mercedes [en Formule E]. »

“Of course, this collaboration is now coming to an end [Mercedes quitte la discipline]but I was able to make myself known as a world champion in Formula E.”

“This is where I see my future and this is where I want to focus” he concludes.

As a reminder, Stoffel Vandoorne remains a Mercedes F1 reserve driver.

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