Vandoorne joins Aston Martin as Formula 1 reserve driver

The Belgian, who drove for McLaren between 2016 and 2018 and most recently served as reserve for Mercedes, will take over a strengthened F1 program alongside DS Penske’s FE commitments.

He will share responsibilities at Aston Martin with F2 champion Felipe Drugovic, who was recently signed as test and reserve driver, throughout the intense 24-race schedule.

Vandoorne’s move to Aston Martin would also see a renewal of his working relationship with Fernando Alonso, with the pair having been teammates at McLaren from 2016 to 2018.

Speaking about the new role, Vandoorne said: “It is very exciting to step into the role of reserve driver in Formula 1 – and I am delighted to be doing so with Aston Martin.

“I have watched with great interest how the team has evolved and expanded operationally, and I know how incredibly determined they are to make progress in every area.

“Joining Fernando, whom I already know from my F1 racing career, and Lance, to help them develop and improve next year’s car, will be great work, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge – and reward – of working together with the whole organization at Silverstone.”

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, at the world champions' press conference

Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, at the world champions’ press conference

Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

As well as running testing opportunities for Aston Martin, Vandoorne will also take part in an extensive simulation and development program at the team’s Silverstone base.

Aston Martin team boss Mike Crack explained Vandoorne had been brought on board to help push it towards the front of the grid.

“Stoffel has all the capabilities we need for this new and expanded role within the team: he is quick, analytical, hardworking and a great team player, and he will fit in perfectly with our growing organisation, working alongside our other test driver, Felipe Drugovic,” said Krack.

“The whole team is highly motivated for next year, and the appointment of Stoffel, along with Fernando, Lance and Felipe, gives added depth to our fantastic driver line-up. This will be an important role for Stoffel, and we will count on him working hard with our racing, simulation and engineering teams to improve our performance for 2023 and beyond. after him.”

Read also:

Vandoorne’s decision to step away from his duties with Mercedes, following teammate Nyck de Vries’ move to AlphaTauri, means the German carmaker needs a fresh stance for next season.

Outgoing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has been closely linked with the role, but the team and driver insist nothing has been decided yet.

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