Stoffel Vandoorne denies Jenson Button deal means more pressure

Stoffel Vandoorne of McLaren Honda in the paddock during previews ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix of Russia at Sochi Autodrom on April 28, 2016
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Stoffel Vandoorne does not think that Jenson Button's new McLaren deal will ramp up the pressure when he makes his F1 debut next year.

Stoffel Vandoorne has said that he does not think Jenson Button's new McLaren deal will ramp up the pressure when he makes his Formula 1 debut next year.

The British team has signed up Belgian rookie Vandoorne, 24, to replace Button next year, but the 36-year-old F1 veteran is also under contract and according to McLaren will be ready to drive if necessary.

Asked by France's Auto Hebdo if that means extra pressure for Vandoorne, the 24-year-old answered: "No, I think [Button's deal] is a good solution.

"Jenson is one of the most experienced drivers on the grid, he knows the team and is actively involved in the development of the new car. It would be silly to not benefit from that.

"His experience will be good for the team and I can learn a lot from him too."

In fact, Vandoorne said that the overwhelming emotion when McLaren recently announced his deal was relief.

"I felt relieved to sign a contract even though I had to pinch myself," he said.

"In Formula 1, even if you didn't doubt that I would get a place, nothing is certain until a contract is signed. So the last few months were not easy but now that everything is official it's like a weight off my shoulders."

This year's championship continues next weekend with the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Nico Rosberg of Germany and Mercedes GP leads Sebastian Vettel of Germany and Ferrari and Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and Mercedes GP into the first corner during the Spanish Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Catalunya on May 10, 2015
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