Stoffel Vandoorne to keep McLaren drive in 2018, says Zak Brown
Brown admits Vandoorne in "difficult situation" and tips him to be future world champion
By Jonathan Green
Last Updated: 31/07/17 11:45am
Stoffel Vandoorne is set to be kept on by McLaren for 2018 despite a tough first full season in Formula 1.
The Belgian has yet to score a point in 2017 and has been regularly out-performed by team-mate Fernando Alonso.
The lack of reliability and performance of the Honda power unit has not helped Vandoorne, but racing director Eric Boullier said last month that the 25-year-old's start was "not as good as expected".
However, executive director Zak Brown has given Vandoorne his backing and tipped him to be a future world champion.
Asked by Sky F1's Martin Brundle if Vandoorne would be in the car next year, Brown replied: "Yeah, we're happy with Stoffel.
"He's in a difficult situation going up against Fernando Alonso and then the lack of reliability.
"Fernando can adapt to a lot of these issues quicker than Stoffel because he has not been to a lot of these tracks.
"We think he's a future world champion and we don't expect any change there."
Stoffel Vandoorne's results in 2017
Vandoorne arrived in F1 with big expectations after being GP2 champion in 2015, while he scored a point on his McLaren debut when standing in for Alonso at last year's Bahrain GP.
But his best finish this season has been 12th, in Azerbaijan and Austria, while he has been out-qualified 8-0 by Alonso, and by Jenson Button in Monaco when he filled in for the Spaniard.
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