Vandoorne a good fit for Toro Rosso, suggests Brown

04/09/2018
NEWS STORY

Ever the marketing man, welcoming the media to McLaren's Woking HQ to meet its newly-announced 2019 driver Lando Norris, Zak Brown suggested that out-going driver Stoffel Vandoorne would make a good fit for rivals Toro Rosso.

Currently, the youngster doesn't appear to have any options in F1, even though his manager Alessandro Alunni Bravi - who also looks after the interests of Robert Kubica - recently took a place on the board at Sauber.

Asked if he might contact rival teams on Vandoorne's behalf, Brown said: "I already have, and anything we can do to help Stoffel, we would help him in a heartbeat.

"We consider him family," he continued, "he's been outstanding to work with, hopefully he lands in Formula One, that's where I think he deserves to be.

"We have some other racing activities that you guys know we are reviewing," he added, referring to the IndyCar programme which could get underway as early as next year, "and I wouldn't hesitate to keep Stoffel in the McLaren family if there was a seat available and he had a desire to race in it."

Asked if this hinted at a possible Alonso/Vandoorne line-up in IndyCar, he laughed and replied: "Highly unlikely.

"I definitely think he's a Formula One calibre driver and if I was Toro Rosso, who appear to have two open seats, I'd put Stoffel in in a heartbeat," he said, without a hint of irony, at a time he is attempting to secure the services of the Faenza outfit's technical director, James Key.

"I think we've had a very poor race car for two years," admitted the American. "Someone like Fernando can adapt quicker, he's got so much experience.

"Stoffel was very close to Fernando, a lot closer than some other teammates as Fernando has commented. Stoffel is an outstanding race car driver. Ultimately we look to the future and feel Lando's a future star. I think in a different environment Stoffel may excel more, and with a better race car."

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Published: 04/09/2018
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