McLaren young driver Stoffel Vandoorne will join the Super Formula rookie test at Suzuka later this month as he edges closer a deal to race in the Japanese category next year, Motorsport.com can reveal.
With his Formula 1 opportunities having dried up in the wake of uncertainty about the future of the Manor team, the GP2 champion is determined to continue racing in 2016 alongside a reserve role for McLaren.
Having been successful in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2, McLaren has been evaluating where best to place him – and believes a campaign in Super Formula will be best for him.
Motorsport.com has learned that Vandoorne will travel to Japan later this month to join the rookie test that is taking place on November 25.
Speaking in Mexico last weekend, Vandoorne said he would relish the chance to race in Super Formula – where the high downforce would be good for preparing him for the step up to F1 in 2017.
“It is a good car, definitely. It is at least as quick as GP2 or maybe even quicker,” he said.
“I think 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.
“So if I am [McLaren] reserve driver next year, then Super Formula is one of the options. But it is not decided if I am going to do that, yes or no.”