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Vandoorne joins Aston Martin as reserve F1 driver – Motorsport.com

The Belgian, who drove for McLaren between 2016 and 2018 and has most recently acted as a reserve for Mercedes, will undertake a ramped-up F1 programme alongside his FE commitments for DS Penske.
He will share responsibilities at Aston Martin with F2 champion Felipe Drugovich, who was recently signed as a test and reserve driver, throughout the intense 24-race schedule.
Vandoorne’s move to Aston Martin will also see him renew a working relationship with Fernando Alonso, the pair having been teammates at McLaren from 2016 to 2018.
Speaking about the new role, Vandoorne said: “It is incredibly exciting to be stepping into a reserve-driver role in F1 – and I’m delighted to be doing it with Aston Martin.
“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 F1 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.”
Stoffel Vandoorne, Mercedes-Benz EQ, in the world champions Press Conference
Photo by: Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images
As well as conducting testing opportunities for Aston Martin, Vandoorne will also take part in an intensive simulator and development programme at the team’s Silverstone base.
Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack explained that Vandoorne was being brought on board to help contribute to its push towards the front of the grid.
“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 organisation, working alongside our other test driver, Felipe Drugovich,” said Krack.
“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 decision to step away from his duties with Mercedes, coming off the back of fellow reserve Nyck de Vries’ move to AlphaTauri, means the German car manufacturer is in need of a fresh stand-in for next season.
Outgoing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo has been strongly linked with the role, but both team and driver insist that nothing has been decided yet.
 
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