Vandoorne confirmed as McLaren reserve driver

By on Thursday, January 23, 2014

World Series by Renault

Stoffel Vandoorne has been appointed as McLaren's reserve driver for 2014.

The Belgian will also race in GP2 for ART after the French team confirmed a partnership agreement with McLaren and its 2015 F1 engine suppliers Honda.

Vandoorne finished as runner-up to Kevin Magnussen in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series last year and has been a member of McLaren's young driver programme.

"I’m thrilled and honoured to have been selected by McLaren Mercedes to be the team’s Formula 1 reserve driver for 2014, and I’m equally excited to have been selected to race for the ART GP2 team for 2014," said Vandoorne.

"I plan to take my responsibilities as McLaren Mercedes’ official Formula 1 reserve driver very seriously indeed, since I very much enjoy immersing myself in the technical aspects of Formula 1 grand prix weekends."

"I’ll do whatever I can to help the team’s two Formula 1 race drivers, Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen, both of whom are great guys and superb drivers, to achieve as much as they possibly can this season."

"Going back to my own racing this season, GP2 is a prime feeder series for Formula 1, and GP2 cars are both powerful and fast. ART has an excellent track record in GP2, and I’m extremely grateful to Nicholas Todt and Frederic Vasseur, the team’s two owners, for giving me this brilliant opportunity."

"I’m definitely not making any predictions, and I’m certainly not under-estimating the drivers I’ll be racing in GP2 this year, many of whom are very good indeed, but as I say I’ll be aiming to win with ART and I very much hope that that success will help me on my way to my ultimate goal: Formula 1."

Vandoorne will be joined at ART by 29-year-old Japanese racer Takuya Izawa.

Vandoorne has yet to drive an F1 car but it likely to receive running during 2014's four two-day tests that follow selected race weekends.

The McLaren MP4-29 will be unveiled on Friday.

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