Stoffel Vandoorne to hitch Aston Martin as check and reserve driver

Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso in the McLaren garage aft the Formula One Grand Prix of Germany in 2018
Stoffel Vandoorne (left) will reunite with former McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin

Reigning System E champion Stoffel Vandoorne will be a part of Aston Martin in 2023 as check and reserve driver.

The previous McLaren System 1 driver will share the function with Felipe Drugovich, the 2022 System 2 champion who joined in September.

Vandoorne, 30, has been Mercedes reserve driver since 2019, after dropping his McLaren race seat on the finish of the earlier 12 months.

The Belgian stated his new function was “extremely thrilling”.

The transfer reunites him with two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso, who joins Aston Martin from Alpine subsequent season and who was Vandoorne’s team-mate at McLaren in 2017 and 2018.

Vandoorne gained the System E title with Mercedes this 12 months and, following their withdrawal from the all-electric sequence, is shifting to the DS Penske crew for the 2022-23 season.

“I’ve watched with nice curiosity how Aston Martin has developed and expanded operationally, and I understand how extremely decided it’s to make progress in each space,” he stated.

“Becoming a member of Fernando, who I already know from my System 1 racing profession, and Lance (Stroll), to assist them develop and enhance subsequent 12 months’s automobile might be a terrific job, and I am actually wanting ahead to the problem – and reward – of working along with the entire organisation at Silverstone.”

Vandoorne has shared the reserve function at Mercedes with Dutchman Nyck de Vries, who will race for Alpha Tauri subsequent season.

Present McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo, whose contract has been terminated a 12 months early – he has stated he won’t be racing in F1 subsequent 12 months – has been linked with the Mercedes place.

Mercedes crew principal Toto Wolff stated on Saturday on the Mexico Metropolis Grand Prix: “Daniel is talking to a couple groups a few potential function, I believe additionally Purple Bull. We very very similar to him. He is an incredible character however we aren’t able to determine who’s going to be reserve or third driver.”

Signing Vandoorne is the newest in a sequence of indicators of Aston Martin’s ambition to maneuver up the grid – proprietor Lawrence Stroll has set the crew the goal of being able to successful by 2025.

Vandoorne is a extremely regarded and completed driver who was tipped for a profitable F1 profession earlier than he joined McLaren alongside Alonso because the crew had been reaching the underside of an extended decline.

Aston Martin crew principal Mike Krack stated: “Stoffel has all of the capabilities we’d like for this new and expanded function inside the crew: he’s quick, analytical, hard-working and a improbable crew participant, and can match completely into our rising organisation, working alongside our different check driver, Felipe Drugovich.

“The entire crew is vastly motivated for subsequent 12 months, and the appointment of Stoffel, alongside Fernando, Lance and Felipe, provides further depth to our improbable driver line-up.

“This might be a big function for Stoffel, and we might be reliant on him to work laborious with each our observe and simulation and engineering groups to enhance our efficiency for 2023 and past.”

Vandoorne and Brazilian Drugovich exchange Nico Hulkenberg within the reserve function at Aston Martin. The skilled German is tipped for a return to a race seat subsequent 12 months with Haas, changing Mick Schumacher, though the crew insist no resolution has but been made between the 2.

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