Stoffel Vandoorne unsure if Alonso had a role in McLaren F1 struggles

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Stoffel Vandoorne won't say if he felt Fernando Alonso's presence hurt his two-year Formula 1 stint at McLaren.

The Belgian arrived on the grid in 2017 with a weight of expectation after a strong junior career and impressing on his F1 debut in Bahrain the year before.

However, up against the double world champion, Vandoorne struggled to make his mark and was even beaten 21-0 in qualifying by Alonso last year, with his lack of results ultimately leading to his exit.

“It is hard to tell," he told Motorsport.com when asked if he thought Fernando had any role in his lack of performance.

"I can’t change what happened and I also have no regrets of whatever happened of my time at McLaren.

“It definitely was not the best moment in my career after everything was running kind of smooth before, but I think it made me stronger.

“There were a lot of things that I didn’t have in control myself as well, but it was character building and now I moved on."

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Vandoorne immediately found sanctuary in Formula E after his F1 exit, teaming up with HWA which is the prelude team to Mercedes' manufacturer entry into the series for Season 6.

“I’m in a completely different environment, which personally I’ve been enjoying a lot," he claimed despite early results not going in his favour.

“It is a lot more relaxed because of the way the drivers get on with each other, the [lack of] politics in the paddock.”

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Because of that, a man who was once touted to be a future F1 champion insists returning to that grid is no longer a priority.

“F1 is so unpredictable,” Vandoorne said. “When you look at the driver’s market, what happened last year was so unpredictable, no one really thought that this was going to happen.

“Some people are there that we thought weren’t going to be there, some people are not there that we thought that were going to be there.

“I’m not desperately dying to get back to F1.”

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