Aston Martin’s reserve driver, Stoffel Vandoorne, is set to share the wheel with Lance Stroll, a regular team driver, in the upcoming Pirelli tyre test at Spa. Meanwhile, McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri will each get a day’s test run.
This test marks the Belgian’s first on-track appearance in a current F1 car since his drive for Mercedes in the Abu Dhabi test back in December 2020.
Although the primary objective of the Spa test is to evaluate Pirelli’s blanket-free tyres, Vandoorne will have the chance to familiarize himself with the 2023 Aston Martin car, thereby aiding his simulator work for the team. The experience would also ease his transition should he be needed to replace either Stroll or Fernando Alonso during the remaining season.
At the age of 31, Vandoorne alternates as Aston’s reserve driver with Felipe Drugovich, the reigning F2 champion. The duo take turns being on standby during races. Drugovich was given his own opportunity to experience the AMR23 at the Bahrain test in February while Stroll was unavailable. The Brazilian has since been gaining additional experience in private tests with a 2021 car.
In addition to his duties with Aston, Vandoorne also stands in as a reserve driver for McLaren, and his run at Spa would facilitate his switch to the MCL60 if necessary.
Stoffel Vandoorne, Reserve Driver, Aston Martin F1 Team
Photo by: Mark Sutton / F1 Flow Images
The test run will also provide Vandoorne a sense of the 2023 downforce levels. Both cars utilize the Mercedes power unit and share similar steering wheel settings.
Vandoorne made his F1 racing debut with McLaren in Bahrain in 2016 as a stand-in for his current Aston Martin team-mate Alonso. He drove for two complete seasons in 2017 and 2018, initially with Honda power and later with Renault. Despite finishing 16th in the world championship both years, with a top finish of seventh place, he was dropped by McLaren at the end of 2018.
However, he bounced back in Formula E, securing the 2021-22 championship title for Mercedes, where he also served as an F1 reserve. Presently, he drives for the DS Penske Formula E team and is a reserve for the Peugeot WEC team.
Pirelli “where we want to be” ahead of 2024 blanket F1 tyre call
McLaren a “true contender” for second best F1 team now – Russell
Alonso says Aston Martin fifth fastest F1 team after Hungarian GP
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Stoffel Vandoorne Pirelli Tyre Test
Who will be driving the Aston Martin F1 car in the Pirelli tyre test at Spa?
Stoffel Vandoorne, the reserve driver for Aston Martin, will share driving duties with team regular Lance Stroll in the Pirelli tyre test at Spa.
What is the main objective of the Pirelli tyre test at Spa?
The primary objective of the Spa test is to evaluate Pirelli’s new blanket-free tyres. However, it also presents an opportunity for the drivers to familiarize themselves with the 2023 F1 car.
When was the last time Stoffel Vandoorne drove a current F1 car?
Stoffel Vandoorne last drove a current F1 car for Mercedes in the Abu Dhabi test back in December 2020.
Who else is a reserve driver for Aston Martin apart from Stoffel Vandoorne?
Apart from Stoffel Vandoorne, Felipe Drugovich, the reigning F2 champion, also serves as a reserve driver for Aston Martin.
Which team did Stoffel Vandoorne make his F1 racing debut with?
Stoffel Vandoorne made his F1 racing debut with McLaren in Bahrain in 2016.
Where is Stoffel Vandoorne currently driving?
Stoffel Vandoorne is currently driving for the DS Penske Formula E team. He also serves as a reserve for the Peugeot WEC team.