|D.o.B.||26 March 1992|
|Date of Death||Unknown|
|Début||2018 Ad Diriyah E-Prix|
|Championships||0 (16th 2018/19)|
|Former Teams||HWA Racelab|
|Formula E Career|
|Entries||18 (18 Starts)|
|Team||Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team|
Stoffel Vandoorne (born 26 March 1992 in Kortrijk, Belgium) is a Belgian racing driver who drives for the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team in the 2019/20 ABB FIA Formula E Championship. A former member of the McLaren Formula One Team, Vandoorne arrived in FE in 2018/19 as one of the most promising talents in motorsport, having amassed multiple racing accolades including the 2010 F4 Eurocup 1.6, 2012 Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and 2015 GP2 Series titles.
Vandoorne's maiden season in FE in 2018/19 saw the Belgian ace steadily improve with new entrants HWA Racelab, working to build up experience ahead of Mercedes-Benz' official entry in 2019. Indeed, come the end of the season Vandoorne had claim a maiden pole position and podium finish, fought for victory in several races, and out-scored teammate Gary Paffett.
Born in Kortrijk, Vandoorne began his karting career at the age of six following a visit to the World Karts kart track. Though initially hampered by lack of funding, he went on to claim the title of KF2 champion in 2008 and achieving high-placed positions and the RACB National Team steering wheel award the following year.
Formula Renault championships
The following year, Vandoorne was inducted into FFSA's Auto Sport Academy and made his single-seater debut in the F4 Eurcoup 1.6 championship. In his first season, he claimed six wins, five poles and three fastest laps to claim the championship by a thirty six point margin to rival Norman Nato. In 2011, Vandoorne moved up to the Formula Renault 2.0 championships with KTR. There he competed alongside future Formula E racers Alex Lynn and Robin Frijns (who ultimately took the Eurocup title) and current Formula One racers Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz, Jr. There Vandoorne finished fifth in the Eurocup standings and third in the Northern European Championship behind Sainz and Kvyat.
The following year, Vandoorne remained in Formula Renault 2.0, but switched to Josef Kaufmann Racing who had taken Frijns to the title. Taking four wins, six poles and three fastest laps, Vandoorne claimed the Eurocup title in the final round after a lengthy battle with Kvyat. He competed in selected rounds of the NEC championship which saw him take five wins and finish ninth overall. In 2013, Vandoorne was inducted into the McLaren Young Drive Programme and once again replaced Frijns, this time in the vacant Formula Renault 3.5 seat at British outfit Fortec. Taking four wins across the season, he finished runner-up to fellow McLaren junior Kevin Magnussen and ahead of future Formula E racer António Félix da Costa.
In 2014, Vandoorne switched to the GP2 series with French outfit ART Grand Prix. Claiming four victories (including one on debut), he finished runner-up to Jolyon Palmer, before re-signing with ART ahead of the 2015 season. That reunion would ultimately prove to be a very successful one, with the Belgian claiming seven victories to seal the title in dominant fashion over future Indy 500 winner Alexander Rossi.
Unfortunately for Vandoorne his immediate progress into Formula One was blocked due to a lack of available race seats, prompting him to move to the Super Formula Series in Japan for 2016. That campaign with the Dandelion Racing outfit saw Vandoorne take two victories en-route to fourth in the Championship.
Vandoorne got his first taste of F1 in 2014, when he was named McLaren reserve driver. Two years later, while serving as reserve driver, he would make his Formula One debut at Bahrain, replacing an injured Fernando Alonso, and duly claimed his first ever F1 point on his debut. That result, combined with the retirement of former Champion Jenson Button saw Vandoorne finally get a race sat for the 2017 F1 season, with the Belgian partnering Alonso for the full campaign. Unfortunately for Vandoorne his maiden F1 season was hampered by an unreliable car, meaning he was only able to achieve three points scoring finishes to take sixteenth behind his teammate.
Vandoorne was retained for the following season, but another difficult season with another noncompetitive car saw the Belgian lose his seat to the latest McLaren Young Driver Programme talent, in the form of Lando Norris.
Formula E History
Following his decision to leave McLaren, rumours began circulating that Vandoorne would be switching to Formula E with incoming team HWA Racelab, with Mercedes-Benz sporting boss Toto Wolff declaring an interest in the Belgian's talents. Those rumours would eventually prove true, for on the 15 October 2018, Vandoorne was officially confirmed with the new-to-FE outfit alongside two time DTM champion Gary Paffett. The pair would have fairly quiet debuts during the 2018 Valencia Test, using customer Venturi VFE 05s.
The opening round of the season was not the best for Vandoorne, slumping to sixteenth after qualifying an impressive fourth for the 2018 Ad Diriyah E-Prix, the result of suspension damage picked up from an early brush with the wall. Fairly brutal races followed in Marrakech and Santiago, Vandoorne failing to finish in either due to accident damage, before finishing eighteenth in the 2019 Mexico City E-Prix. In the opening four rounds, Vandoorne had failed to score a point, although a strong run in the 2019 Mexico City Test would re-invigorate both himself and HWA.
Indeed, Vandoorne's form vastly improved at the following round in Hong Kong, claiming his first points of the season with his maiden pole position in FE. Unfortunately the race itself would not go well for the Belgian, a driveshaft failure causing him to retire while running in third. Another difficult weekend in Sanya followed, Vandoorne once again retiring due to damage.
It was at the 2019 Rome E-Prix that Vandoorne finally had some fortune, battling his way into Super Pole before fighting for the podium for most of the race. He duly collected his maiden podium finish in Rome, just managing to cross the line at the finish before a driveshaft failure left him stranded on track. He would, however, have little luck in 2019 Paris E-Prix, retiring once again due to a brush with the barriers.
Vandoorne subsequently emerged as a regular point scorer over the rest of the season, with a series of strong qualifying performances the key to his form. Fifth place in Berlin proved to be the highlight, Vandoorne having qualified second only to lack the pace and efficiency of those around him. Two further point scores followed in Bern and the season ending 2019 New York City E-Prix II, Vandoorne finishing tenth and eighth respectively.
Come the end of the season Vandoorne had claimed 35 points and sixteenth in the Championship, almost four times the tally of teammate Paffett.
Vandoorne's impressive rookie season encouraged Mercedes-Benz, who took over the HWA Racelab entry at the end of 2018/19, opt to retain the Belgian racer for the 2019/20 season. Furthermore, Vandoorne was promoted to lead driver in the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team, partnering F2 racer Nyck de Vries having helped to develop the new Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01 throughout the previous season.
Full Formula E Record
Shown below are a series of tables outlining Stoffel Vandoorne's career in Formula E in statistical form.
Formula E Entries
The list below includes all of the teams and cars, as well as overall finishing positions for Stoffel Vandoorne during their FE career:
|Stoffel Vandoorne's Overall Formula E Record|
|2018/19||HWA Racelab||5||Venturi VFE 05||16th||35|
|2018/19||Mercedes-Benz EQ Formula E Team||5||Mercedes-Benz EQ Silver Arrow 01|
Below is a table showing Stoffel Vandoorne's full Formula E record.
|FIA Formula E Championship Record|
Images and Videos:
- Liauzh, 'File:Stoffel Vandoorne - Malaysia GP 2017.jpg', commons.wikimedia.org, (WikiMedia: Commons, 01/10/2017), https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Stoffel_Vandoorne_-_Malaysia_GP_2017.jpg, (Accessed 15/10/2018)
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 'Merecedes-Benz EQ reveal the Silver Arrow 01, Vandroorne & de Vries complete line up', fiaformuale.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/09/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/september/mercedes-2019-200challenger-revealed, (Accessed 11/09/2019)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 'STOFFEL VANDOORNE TO LEAVE McLAREN AFTER THE END OF THE 2018 SEASON', mclaren.com, (03/09/2018), https://www.mclaren.com/formula1/team/stoffel-vandoorne/stoffel-vandoorne-leave-mclaren-after-end-2018-season/, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 'Vandoorne takes Formula Renault 2.0 title', redbull.com, (22/10/2012), https://www.redbull.com/gb-en/vandoorne-takes-formula-renault-2.0-title, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 'McLaren test driver Stoffel Vandoorne crowned GP2 champion', espn.co.uk, (ESPN, 11/10/2015), http://www.espn.co.uk/f1/story/_/id/13858777/mclaren-test-driver-stoffel-vandoorne-crowned-gp2-champion, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 'Stoffel Vandoorne completes HWA RACELAB’s driver line up', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/10/2018), http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/october/stoffel-vandoorne-completes-hwa-racelab-s-driver-line-up/, (Accessed 15/10/2018)
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 'Frijns wins while Vergne claims historic two-time Championship title in New York', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 14/07/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/july/race-report-nyc-2-2019, (Accessed 15/07/2019)
- ↑ 7.0 7.1 'Stoffel Vandoorne Career History (archived)', stoffelvandoorne.com, (16/07/2011), https://web.archive.org/web/20110716144910/http://www.stoffelvandoorne.com/about/timeline.aspx, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 'Vandoorne debut with KTR (archived)', italiaracing.net, (ItaliaRacing.Net, 31/10/2010), https://web.archive.org/web/20111008032144/http://italiaracing.net/translatenews.asp?id=29502&cat=22&lang=en, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 'Vandoorne is aiming for the title with Kaufmann', autohebdo.fr, (AUTOhebdo, 25/11/2011), https://www.autohebdo.fr/monoplace/formula-v8-35/actualites/vandoorne-vise-le-titre-avec-kaufmann.html, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Jamie O'Leary, 'Stoffel Vandoorne joins McLaren F1 Young Driver Programme', autosport.com, (Haymarket Publications, 18/02/2013), https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/105609/vandoorne-joins-mclaren-programme, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 'Vandoorne: future McLaren F1 star?', autosport.com, (Haymarket Publications, 22/12/2012), http://classicplus.autosport.com/premium/feature/5145/, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 'McLaren hand Stoffel Vandoorne 2014 F1 reserve driver role and ART GP2 drive', skysports.com, (Sky Sports, 04/02/2014), https://www.skysports.com/f1/news/12479/9129103/mclaren-hand-stoffel-vandoorne-2014-f1-reserve-driver-role-and-art-gp2-drive, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 13.0 13.1 'McLaren F1 reserve Stoffel Vandoorne seals Honda Super Formula seat', autosport.com, (Haymarket Publications, 12/02/2016), https://www.autosport.com/other/news/122777/vandoorne-seals-super-formula-move, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ 'Stoffel Vandoorne to make F1 debut in Bahrain', mclaren.com, (31/03/2016), https://www.mclaren.com/formula1/2016/bahrain-grand-prix/stoffel-vandoorne-make-f1-debut-bahrain/, (Accessed 08/10/2018)
- ↑ Sam Smith, 'Vandoorne Still Favorite for Second HWA Seat', e-racing365, (John Dagys Media LLC., 08/10/2018) https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/vandoorne-still-favorite-for-second-hwa-seat/,
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- ↑ 'Race Report: Da Costa - 'We did it baby, we're back!', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 15/12/2018), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2018/december/race-report-saudi, (Accessed 15/12/2018)
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 'Madness in Mexico sees di Grassi clinch miraculous win in epic photo finish', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 16/02/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/february/race-report-mexico-2019, (Accessed 17/02/2019)
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 'Bird victorious in furious battle for first on Hong Kong Harbourfront', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 10/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-hong-kong-2019, (Accessed 11/03/2019)
- ↑ 'Vergne victorious in Sanya showdown, championship blown wide open', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 23/03/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/march/race-report-sanya-2019, (Accessed 23/03/2019)
- ↑ 21.0 21.1 'Emotional maiden win for Evans in Rome, Lotterer second', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 13/04/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/april/race-report-rome-2019, (Accessed 13/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Frijns emerges victorious in frantic French E-Prix', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 27/04/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/april/race-report-paris-2019, (Accessed 27/04/2019)
- ↑ 'Vergne masters Monaco while Massa claims maiden Formula E podium ', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 11/05/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/may/race-report-monaco-2019, (Accessed 12/05/2019)
- ↑ 'Di Grassi victorious in the battle for Berlin, home race victory for Audi', fiaformulae.com, (FIA Formula E, 25/05/2019), https://www.fiaformulae.com/en/news/2019/may/race-report-berlin-2019, (Accessed 25/05/2019)
- ↑ Sam Smith, 'Mercedes-Benz EQ Completes First Test', e-racing365.com, (John Dagys Media, LLC., 03/04/2019), https://e-racing365.com/formula-e/mercedes-benz-eq-completes-first-test/, (Accessed 12/09/2019)