Seems odd considering that Magnussen got 2 years in FR3.5 that they would switch out Vandoorne after one. Magnussen was never super impressive in his first year.
Vandoorne nearly won the title, you have to remember. Fell off the second half of the season, but at the start looked a lot better than Magnussen. Like I said about Alexander Rossi. Was 3rd in his first year of FR3.5. His switch to the Caterham/Arden team was the biggest catalyst for his results, but he fell to 11th.
I think GP2 is the best place for him. He isn't getting an McLaren seat. Unless Magnussen struggles badly in comparison to Button, he isn't going away for the next few years. And Vandoorne isn't getting the nod to replace him is that happens. I also don't see Button retiring in the next few years either. So GP2 gives him the best place to try-out to other F1 team and allows him a margin to struggle in 2014 without effecting his F1 stock. Vandoorne's best bet with McLaren is that another team buys into the Honda engine program and he get's allocated there in the short term. He's kinda in the same boat as Felix da Costa had with Red Bull. He has really peaked in the junior formula levels and has shown he is ready to move up, but with no Red Bull backed seats open, and really no good seats open, he chose DTM.
Biggest issue with the junior programs in F1 are that conundrums when you have not enough seats on your team for the super talented drivers in your program. And in some cases, the Red Bull Driver program has shown, many super talented drivers get forgotten and disappear into the memories of race fans and the racing paddock.
But, let's get back to GP2. I really want to get back into following this series. Heck, European junior formula in general. Lost touch this past season, and while I might not watch many races, I like to watch the season unfold. To read articles about the series (which are some of the better written pieces from bloggers and journalists during the season) and watch the stats.
So we have only a handful of seats taken with only 1 team with a full roster. Do we see a potential rookie come in (Marciello) and take the title? Will it take a page from the last few years and a veteran (Ericsson, Palmer, Nasr) challenge? And we have the Red Bull Ring! Sometimes racing on narrow tracks can mean for boring races with little overtaking, but this is GP2. The home of drivers with a strong desire to overtake with reckless abandon.