Struggling McLaren Renault driver Stoffel Vandoorne has signed to race with the HWA Formula E team next season, ending a largely disappointing start to his Formula One career. Many believed Belgian driver Vandoorne to be something of a star of the future following his runaway GP2 success in 2015, leading the much sought after driver to sign with the recovering McLaren squad as replacement for outgoing 2009 World Champion Jenson Button. Fresh off of a record breaking GP2 season and an outstanding Grand Prix debut in place of the injured Fernando Alonso during the 2016 Bahrain Grand Prix, Vandoorne would have to shoulder plenty of expectation from fans and team management as he went about the business of learning his trade in arguably one of the most difficult seats in Grand Prix racing – alongside double champion Fernando Alonso whist strapped into a struggling McLaren Honda car. With the British outfit having opted for an all new line-up of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz next year, Vandoorne would find himself struggling to find a suitable drive to remain in Grand Prix racing, the only realistic outside chance at Sauber having closed off thanks to the Swiss team securing the shock signing of Kimi Raikkonen alongside Ferrari junior Antonio Giozinazzi next year. Without much chance of a race seat in 2019, and keen to rebuild a reputation that has taken something of a battering in recent seasons, Vandoorne has jumped at the chance to re-establish himself in the ever expanding Formula E category, signing for the HWA Mercedes team alongside newly crowned 2018 DTM champion and long-time Mercedes man Gary Paffett: "I am honoured that HWA have signed me for their Formula E programme," said Vandoorne. "HWA are such a great team with a long and successful history in motorsport. All the people I've met so far are really passionate about racing. "Also, it´s great to work alongside such an experienced driver as [HWA FE teammate] Gary Paffett. I am pretty sure that we will benefit from each other during the season. "Although we are all newbies to the series, I have no doubt that we will have a steep learning curve. "However, it won't be easy. My objective is therefore to become competitive in the series as soon as possible and to make a good impression." It is expected that Vandoorne will get his first taste of car and team during the pre-season test at Valencia this Tuesday (16/10), sampling the car before heading off to continue his McLaren Formula One commitments at the United States Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. For more from the world of Grand Prix racing, don't forget to check out the Formula One forum here at RaceDepartment and get involved in the conversation. Like what you see here at RaceDepartment? Don't forget to like, subscribe and follow us on social media! Instagram Twitter Facebook Youtube Twitch Do you think a move to Formula E is the correct one for Vandoorne? Can the current McLaren driver make it back to Grand Prix racing, do you think? Let us know in the comments section below!