Vandoorne eyes 2016 Super Formula drive

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Reigning GP2 champion and McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne may be heading east next season, with the Belgian setting his sights on a drive in Japan's Super Formula series.

Following a flawless and dominant season in GP2 this year, Vandoorne was hopeful of moving up a notch and securing a drive in Formula 1 but that prospect now appears elusive with all spots taken with the exception of Manor whose presence on the 2016 grid has yet to be confirmed.

As one of Formula 1's brightest prospects to emerge in the recent past , Vandoorne remains a McLaren protégé and any commitments to race outside of F1 in 2016 will not prevent him from eventually fulfilling his role as a test and reserve driver for McLaren.

Vandoorne will take part in a Super Formula rookie test scheduled in Japan on November 25 in order to sample the series and its machinery which could provide the young gun with a viable option to keep racing in 2016 before a full-time commitment to F1 in 2017.

"It's a good car, and at least as quick as GP2 or maybe even quicker," the Belgian hopeful said.

"Super Formula are really quick. They don't have that much horsepower but the cornering speeds are very impressive – they are for sure quicker than F1 cars nowadays."

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