Vandoorne "cannot accept" reserve F1 role anymore

Stoffel Vandoorne says he cannot accept a reserve driver role in Formula 1 anymore if McLaren decides to keep Jenson Button next year.

Vandoorne "cannot accept" reserve F1 role anymore
Frederic Vasseur, Renault Sport F1 Team, Racing Director and Stoffel Vandoorne, third driver, McLaren F1 Team
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Test and Reserve Driver
Jost Capito, McLaren Chief Executive Officer with Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren Test and Reserve Driver (Right)

The British squad is yet to decide who will partner Fernando Alonso in 2017, and Vandoorne is favourite for the drive if Button is not retained.

Vandoorne, currently competing in Super Formula in Japan, has been waiting on a decision for months and insists anything other than a racing seat in F1 will not suffice.

"That's definitely what I'm aiming for," Vandoorne said of a racing drive. "I don't think I'm in a position anymore to accept a reserve driver role anywhere.

"I've done this this year and in the past years I have been testing Formula 1 cars as well and racing in other series.

"Definitely I need a race drive next year. That's 100 percent the focus."

Vandoorne says he remains optimistic he has other options to race in Formula 1 if the McLaren drive is not available.

"I'm confident there are other opportunities available," he said. "I want to be on the grid 100 percent next year and that's the main focus."

The Belgian also admitted he is hoping for a decision from McLaren very soon.

"We have been talking for a bit now and at this stage talks are ongoing, but once they can actually take a decision things from there go very quickly," he added.

"I hope we get to that stage very quickly so everybody finds out what is happening."

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