Stoffel Vandoorne will swap Mercedes for Aston Martin in the off-season, signing with the Silverstone team as one of their two official 2023 reserve drivers.
Winning the 2015 GP2 series, Vandoorne was billed as a future Formula 1 star.
But after two disappointing seasons with McLaren, the Belgian racer’s Formula 1 career was cut short, Vandoorne off to Formula E.
There he shone, winning races in three of his four races and the Drivers’ Championship title in the 2021-22 season with the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team.
His link up with Mercedes’ Formula E also saw him signed as the Formula 1 team’s reserve driver three years running.
Next season, though, he’s off to Aston Martin.
“It is incredibly exciting to be stepping into a reserve-driver role in Formula One – and I’m delighted to be doing it with Aston Martin team,” he 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 organisation at Silverstone.”
Soooo Hulk to Haas?
Ricciardo as Merc reserve?
— PlanetF1 (@Planet_F1) November 1, 2022
Vandoorne is one of two new test and reserve drivers signed by Aston Martin for the 2023 season, the 30-year-old joining Brazil’s Felipe Drugovich on the roster.
The two will dovetailing their duties across next year’s 24-race calendar, Vandoorne also signed to race for the DS Penske team in Formula E.
“Stoffel has all the capabilities we need for this new and expanded role within the team,” said team boss Mike Krack.
“He is fast, analytical, hard-working and a fantastic team player, and will fit perfectly into our growing organisation, working alongside our other test driver, Felipe Drugovich.
“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 both our track and simulation and engineering teams to improve our performance for 2023 and beyond.”
Vandoorne’s signing means Mercedes now don’t have any reserves on the bill for next season, opening the door for Daniel Ricciardo to join the team.
Aston Martin will also have a new driver next season, the team signing Fernando Alonso as Sebastian Vettel’s replacement.