With Stoffel Vandoorne on the brink of winning the GP2 title, ART team manager Sebastien Philippe says it would be a “huge disaster” if he doesn’t land a F1 drive.
Earlier this week one door onto the Formula 1 grid was closed for Vandoorne as McLaren confirmed that Jenson Button would stay on for another season.
And with Fernando Alonso only one year into his three-year deal, the McLaren protege may have to look to another team for a F1 race-seat.
“I’m not there to analyse what they [McLaren] have to do or not,” Philippe told GPUpdate.net.
“The only thing I can say is that it would be a huge disaster if Stoffel was not going to be in Formula 1 next year, after doing such a great job in the categories under Formula 1.
“If he cannot go into Formula 1, there is something wrong. It would be a disaster and unfair.
“We know how hard it is, and all the doors are closing at the moment, so I’ll be very disappointed if this is not going to happen. Until it is all over, we need to remain optimistic for him – I wish him all the best.”
Vandoorne could wrap up the GP2 title at this weekend’s Russian round of the Championship. He is leading the way on 261 having taken five feature race victories.
Philippe added: “If you look at his racing career, and what he has done since the beginning, I’m not sure there are a lot of drivers who have shown that much.
“He has been winning races in all categories he has been in, winning races on all tracks, and finished runner-up in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2 in his first year, which I think is amazing.
“A long time ago when you had a driver like Lewis [Hamilton] winning in his first year in GP2, it was not the same, because now you have drivers with three-four years of experience.
“The tyres are also quite difficult to learn at the beginning now. Stoffel almost did it last year, and I think without some small mistakes from the team or him, we could have done it already last year.
“This year he has destroyed the championship. On his side, there is nothing he could have done better. It would not be acceptable for him not to be in the top category later.”