Stoffel Vandoorne, born on 26th of March 1992 in Kortrijk, is a Belgian racing driver who was GP2 Series champion before moving to Formula 1.
He began to race karting early, at the age of six. After winning races in the various national outdoor championships, Vandoorne makes a breakthrough in 2008 when he stepped in the Belgian and French KF2 championships. The same year he became a national champion what was a big stimulus for the future.
Stoffel Vandoorne at the beginning of career
In 2009, Stoffel debuted in karting racing at international level. He raced in various KF2 championships, including European Championship and WSK, but the most remarkable results he achieved in the World Cup, earning the title of vice-champion.
Switch to single-seaters
Stoffel’s debut in formula racing was perfect. He raced in Formula 4 Eurocup 1.6 and won the title with two races to go. He scored 6 wins and a total of 9 podiums in 2010, driving for Autosport Academy.
Stoffel Vandoorne, Eurocup Formula Renault
In the following year, Vandoorne shared his duties between Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 NEC, driving for KTR in both series. Better results talented Belgian driver scored in Formula Renault NEC. He was 3rd in the standings, behind Carlos Sainz Jr and Daniil Kvyat. In Eurocup, Vandoorne took the 5th position.
Stoffel Vandoorne wins Eurocup Formula Renault title
Stoffel moved to Josef Kaufmann Racing in 2012 and with the new team, he became Eurocup Formula Renault champion after winning 4 out of 14 races and having a total of 11 podiums. At the same time, Vandoorne raced part-time in Formula Renault NEC He won 5 out of 7 races he has entered and finished 9th in the final standings.
Stoffel Vandoorne, 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault champion
It was clear that Vandoorne has a lot of potentials and he confirmed that in 2013 when he raced with Fortec Motorsport in Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Stoffel scored 4 wins and other six podiums before finishing the season as a runner-up, losing to Kevin Magnussen. The same year Stoffel also joined the McLaren Young Driver Program.
GP2 Series champion and F1 test driver
McLaren Formula 1 team confirmed Vandoorne as their official test and reserve driver in 2014 what was another big boost for his career. Besides that, Stoffel raced full time in GP2 Series with the ART Grand Prix team. It was a very good campaign for the Belgian who scored 4 wins, 4 pole positions, and 3 fastest laps before finishing the season as a runner-up, behind Jolyon Palmer.
Stoffel celebrates 2015 GP2 Series with ART Grand Prix team
For the 2015 campaign, Vandoorne stayed with ART Grand Prix in GP2 Series and won the title in great style, with 7 race wins and a total of 16 podiums out of 21 races. At the end of the season, he had an almost double number of points than runner-up Alexander Rossi.
Unexpected Formula 1 debut with McLaren team
In 2016, it was announced that Vandoorne will be a reserve driver for McLaren Honda F1 team and as a part of the deal, he will race in the Japanese Super Formula as official Honda driver with the DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing team.
Vandoorne scored points on his F1 debut with McLaren Honda
Before making a debut in Japan, Vandoorne debuted in the Formula 1 World Championship, replacing injured Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix. Stoffel surprised many by taking the 10th place becoming the first reserve driver to score points on debut since 2007 when Sebastian Vettel did same in the US Grand Prix.
Stoffel Vandoorne finished 4th in 2016 Super Formula
Later in the year, Formula, Vandoorne finished 4th overall in Super Formula after scoring two wins at Okayama and Suzuka Circuit, proving that he is ready for the full-time drive in Formula 1. After Jenson Button announced retirement, it was confirmed that Vandoorne will take his place in McLaren Honda team in 2017.