Verstappen: Vandoorne 'had no chance' at McLaren

Max Verstappen (NLD) Red Bull Racing and Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL) McLaren
© XPB 

Max Verstappen says that Stoffel Vandoorne never really had a fair opportunity to prove himself at McLaren.

"I never thought he had a good chance with Fernando," the Red Bull driver told Dutch publication Formule 1 this week.

"I really like Stoffel," Verstappen continued. "He's a very good driver. Fernando has the same car, but I think he always had newer parts.

"That's a shame, because with such a large team as McLaren you would expect they would always have two versions of something new.

"I don't think he had a very good chance against Fernando and of course you pay for that."

Verstappen said there was no chance that Vandoorne's F1 career would be saved by the offer of a race seat at Toro Rosso.

"No. Maybe I know who is going there," said Verstappen with a smile.

It leaves Vandoorne with limited chances of staying in Formula 1 next year. The Belgian driver has said that if there's no options in F1 then he will be open to offers of racing in other championships.

“There’s been a lot of talks obviously and not only in Formula 1,” said Vandoorne.

“We’ve been exploring some different series as well which hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will know something more about. Until the Formula 1 door closes you’ve got to keep all the options open.

"There’s some interesting projects that could become a possibility for next year but at the moment nothing is done and I’m still a free agent."

He could even find himself competing with his Alonso again, if both men end up racing in the US IndyCar Series.

Vandoorne says that could appeal to him, although the recent huge accident for Robert Wickens has left him with a lot to think about. The former DTM racer suffered serious injuries after a massive crash last month at Pocono.

"Obviously after what happened with Robert it’s sometimes not always that appealing," Vandoorne admitted. Even so, the idea of racing in the iconic Indianapolis 500 remained a big draw.

"It’s definitely one of the biggest events in the world. I think if you have an opportunity to compete in that and to maybe fight for victories is probably something very special."

He added that much depended on whether McLaren would field a full-time entry in next year's IndyCar championship.

"I think until the team has decided exactly what they want to do it’s hard to make a decision or see an opportunity with that.”

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