Former Fernando Alonso Teammate Wants F1 Return As He Makes Efforts To Redeem His Career
|Published January 26, 2023
F1 is considered to be the pinnacle of motorsports by most budding drivers around the world. Everyone competing in junior racing series dreams of making it to F1 someday, and Stoffel Vandoorne is no different. The Belgian did make his dream come true when he became a McLaren driver in 2017 alongside the legendary Fernando Alonso.
Vandoorne spent two seasons with McLaren, but his stint was particularly underwhelming. The Surrey-based outfit’s own power unit issues with Honda during that time did not help him, as he ended up losing his seat ahead of the 2019 season.
Since his last full-time F1 campaign, Vandoorne has not lost touch with the sport as he spent time with McLaren and Mercedes as a reserve driver. However, he has not taken part in a Grand Prix weekend for five years. That is something he wants to change in the coming years.
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Stoffel Vandoorne not closing door on Formula 1 return
Even though Vandoorne has not made it big in F1 yet, he has tasted immense success in Formula E. He spent the previous Formula E season with the Mercedes team and won the world championship. This is a feat that his ex-teammate Nyck de Vries achieved just a year ago, and he now heads into 2023 as an F1 driver for AlphaTauri.
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In 2023, he will be driving for the newly formed DS Penske team in Formula E. Ahead of their race weekend in Saudi Arabia, Vandoorne spoke about making a potential return to F1 in the coming years.
“You can never say never,” he said to Reuters. “You just simply don’t know what’s going to happen in someone’s career over the next couple of years, but I’d say my focus is on Formula E.”
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Vandoorne reunites with Fernando Alonso at Aston Martin
Since losing out on his F1 seat in 2018, Vandoorne has spent every season being connected to F1 as a reserve driver. Between 2020 and 2022 he was an official reserve & simulator driver for McLaren. During this time, he was also contracted to Mercedes in a similar role.
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However, heading into the 2023 season, he has cut ties with the previous two teams. Instead, he will now be a test & reserve driver for Aston Martin. At the Silverstone based outfit, Vandoorne will be reunited with his former teammate, 2-time World Champion Alonso.
The Belgian driver will be hoping for more chances at getting minutes in an F1 car at Aston Martin than he did at McLaren or Mercedes. However, opportunities may be limited for him, because reigning F2 Champion Felipe Drugovich also signed as a reserve driver for Aston Martin for 2023.
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