Will Stevens’ future with Manor in the FIA World Endurance Championship remains unclear, amid the Englishman’s absence from last weekend’s Six Hours of Nürburgring and with no current plans to return to the LMP2 squad.
Stevens, along with fellow open-wheel ace James Jakes missed the fourth round of the championship and were replaced in the No. 44 Oreca 05 Nissan by Antonio Pizzonia and Matt Howson, respectively.
It came after a one-off drive for Stevens at the 24 Hours of Le Mans with G-Drive Racing, where he said he turned down a deal with the Russian team for the remainder of the year due to his contract with Manor.
With G-Drive having signed Alex Brundle to fill the seat, and Stevens losing his Manor ride, it’s left the ex-Formula One without a WEC drive for the time being.
“It wasn’t what I was expecting,” Stevens told Sportscar365.
“Obviously I started with Manor and at that point that was the best opportunity for what we had at the start of the year.
“I got approached by G-Drive for Le Mans and the rest of the season and at that point I could only sign for Le Mans because of my contract with Manor.
“Le Mans was pretty good; it was my first time there. It was a strong race. We had two penalties and a puncture and a lot of time with those.
“We finished two-and-a-half minutes behind Alpine, which won the race. If you look at the penalties we had, then that’s where the time was lost.”
Stevens, who is taking part in the Blancpain GT Series with Belgian Audi Club Team WRT, and makes his debut in the Total 24 Hours of Spa this weekend, admits his WEC future is up in the air.
“For the rest of the year with WEC, I don’t know,” he said. “We’re in no rush to try and sort anything out. It’s a nice position to be in; we’re pretty flexible with what we need to do.
“After Le Mans, because we left for Manor to race at G-Drive, we need to sort a few things out.
“At the moment, all I’m focusing on is myself and putting myself in the best position. Right now I need to focus on this race but whether I go back to WEC with Manor, we’ll worry about it after the weekend.”
The No. 44 Manor entry currently has two TBAs alongside full-season driver Tor Graves for September’s Six Hours of Mexico.
Manor has yet to provide comment on Stevens’ situation with the team.
Vincent Wouters contributed to this report