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Official: GP2 Champion Vandoorne Confirmed as McLaren 3rd Driver

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Paul Jeffrey, Nov 11, 2015.

  1. Paul Jeffrey

    Paul Jeffrey
    RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief Staff Premium

    Belgian GP2 Champion Stoffel Vandoorne secures third driver role at McLaren-Honda for the 2016 Formula One Season.

    Not coming as a surprise to anyone in the Formula One paddock is the news that highly regarded McLaren junior and new GP2 Champion (and sometime sim racer) Stoffel Vandoorne has officially confirmed that he will replace outgoing McLaren driver Kevin Magnussen as test and reserve driver for the Woking concern's 2016 Grand Prix season.

    After a sterling season in Formula One's feeder category, GP2, where the Belgian secured five victories and a further eight podium positions to secure the title with two rounds remaining, the latest revelation was a forgone conclusion following McLaren's announcement back in October that Danish driver Kevin Magnussen will not be retained going into the new season.

    Although understandably delighted to be acting as reserve to regular drivers Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso, Vandoorne is keen to keep his racing instincts sharp and remain in a race seat outside of Formula One during the upcoming season.

    Vandoorne told the McLaren website:
    "I definitely want to race something next year, but what it will be we don't know yet... There's definitely some options though, and we're talking about them... I'm going to be test and reserve driver at McLaren anyway, which is a good position to be in.

    Obviously I want to race something next year as well, to say sharp, to stay fit, and to stay focused. If you stay sharp, fit and focused, then if any opportunity arises in Formula 1 you're 100 per cent ready to jump in."

    With several options open to the 23 year old, it remains to be seen what opportunities are available to the Belgian star outside of motorsports premier category. Recent word is that a test in the Japanese Super Formula (formally Formula Nippon) is an option with Vandoorne saying:

    "The Super Formula car is definitely a good car – it's at least as quick as a GP2 car or maybe even quicker, As I say, as I'm McLaren's test and reserve driver next year, but I want to keep racing alongside that, and I think Super Formula is one of the options, but it's not decided yet whether I'm going to do it or not."

    Other paths recently trodden by former and current drivers would be the ever growing World Endurance Championship (WEC) however no news on any availability of drives has been forthcoming so far.

    With such a talent as Vandoorne waiting in the wings at McLaren, current drivers Button and Alonso will have to be on top form next season to ensure their places are secured for 2017.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 12, 2015
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  2. Andreas Knöpke

    Andreas Knöpke
    Let's drive side by side! Premium

    Someone did not watch F1 in 2015, huh? :D:D:D:D:D:D
  3. ThatRacingGuy

    I drove 88 MPH last night... weird stuff happened

    In my opinion Stoffel is a great talent but he made the worst possible decision ever in F1 standards

    Signing up with Mclaren.

    1. we all know that mclaren isn't the best team around recently 'kuch GP2 engine kuch"
    2. Mclaren has the worst talent driver program because Mclaren will probably never give Vandoorne a chance to drive.

    if he'd signed up with Red bulls junior program had a much bigger chance to drive a F1 car in the near future because of Sainz JR's poor performance compared with my favorite driver ATM Max Verstappen.
  4. Tim.E


    Oh fck off you cannot be serious. Stoffel, together with Max, is one of the greatest racing talents we know atm. It's not a smart idea of him to sign for a team that already has two ex-world champions. Thereby Mclaren isn't the team like they were back then.

    Though then again this could maybe be his only chance as seats for next year were getting harder and harder to find. Maybe/Probably when Button retires he'll take his spot.
  5. Ole Marius Myrvold

    Ole Marius Myrvold
    JWB 96-13 Premium

    He signed with McLaren long before the Honda-engine, and if you look at last year, they didn't exactly crush Force India, so the chassis isn't that good either, it's not all the engine.

    Also, worst talent driver program? Who's been in the program and not promoted?
    Lewis was in the program, he made it. Kevin Magnussen was in the program, he made it.
    Now it's Stoffel 'removed from simracing leagues' Vandoorne, Nyck de Vries and Ben Barnicoat that's in the program. I am pretty sure that all three will have good careers, how good depends on them.

    It's not like Red Bull is the holy grail of driver-promotion either.
    Antonio Felix da Costa, Robert Wickens, Brendon Hartley, Filipe Albuquerque, Neel Jani and Daniel Juncadella are all drivers that had good results and was dropped by Red Bull.
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  6. kedy89


    So it's quicker as the McLaren :roflmao:
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