Formula E reigning champion, Stoffel Vandoorne, joins Aston Martin F1 as test and reserve driver, the team announced Tuesday.
From next season, Belgian driver Stoffel Vandoorne will combine his role as a full-time driver for DS Penske in the Formula E world championship with his commitments as a test and reserve driver for Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team (AMF1).
“It is incredibly exciting to be stepping into a reserve-driver role in Formula One. I’m delighted to be doing it with Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team,” Vandoorne said.
“I’ve watched with great interest how the team has developed and expanded operationally, and I know how incredibly determined it is to make progress in every area.”
“Joining Fernando, who I already know from my Formula One racing career, and Lance to help them develop and improve next year’s car will be a terrific job, and I’m really looking forward to the challenge and reward of working together with the whole organization at Silverstone,” the reigning Formula E champion added.
The 30-year-old debuted at the pinnacle of motorsport securing a seat in 2017 with McLaren Racing. The partnership concluded by the end of the 2018 season.
Afterward, he agreed to take on a new challenge, combining a Formula E-Formula 1 program and breaking new ground in the all-electric series from the 2018/2019 season.
In 2019, he also took a simulator driver role with Mercedes-AMG F1; a year later, he became a reserve driver for the Brackley manufacturer.
Mike Krack, AMF1 Team Principal, commented on the newest addition to the outfit: “Stoffel has all the capabilities we need for this new and expanded role within the team. He is fast, analytical, hard-working, and a fantastic team player and will fit perfectly into our growing organization, working alongside our other test driver, Felipe Drugovich.”
Vandoorne will share driving duties with Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich, who became the first member of the team’s Driver Development Programme last September.
The program, which aims to serve as a stairway for junior drivers to reach Formula One, will see the 22-year-old Brazilian serving as a reserve driver.
According to the team, the young talent could drive in FP1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, taking over Lance Stroll’s car, as in the young driver test at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Krack further outlined: “The whole team is hugely motivated for next year, and the appointment of Stoffel, alongside Fernando, Lance, and Felipe, gives extra depth to our fantastic driver line-up.
“This will be a significant role for Stoffel, and we will be reliant on him to work hard with our track and simulation and engineering teams to improve our performance for 2023 and beyond.”
From Rookie to Formula E World Champion
Vandoorne set off his journey in the all-electric single-seater series by joining the HWA Racelab team ahead of the 2018/2019 season.
The team rebranded as Mercedes-Benz EQ would see the Belgian finishing 2019/2020 championship second in the overall standings.
Ahead of the 2020/2021 season, the FIA granted the series a World Championship status.
As competition unfolded, Mercedes put up a dominating performance taking both the Teams’ and Drivers’ world championships, won by Vandoorne’’s teammate, Nyck de Vries - from 2023, the Dutch driver will compete with Williams Racing in Formula One.
Season eight would mark Mercedes EQ’s last season in Formula E, rounding up a successful campaign with Vandoorne, rising as the brand-new champion.
Furthermore, Season 9 sees the introduction of the Gen 3 era, in which the reigning champion aims to defend his title by lining up in a highly competitive grid.
He will drive for DS Penske alongside a new teammate, two-time Formula E champion Jean-Eric Vergne.