F1 news: Stoffel Vandoorne joins Aston Martin as reserve driver for 2023 season

Aston Martin have confirmed that Stoffel Vandoorne will become part of the team as a test and reserve driver for the 2023 Formula 1 season.

The 30-year-old Vandoorne will join Felipe Dragovich as the two drivers to be used by Aston Martin for next season and will be based at the Silverstone factory and will "undertake an intensive simulation and development programme".

The Belgian driver has raced in F1 for McLaren between 2017 and 2018 scoring 26 points over two seasons before being dropped by the team.

In 2019, Vandoorne worked for the Mercedes F1 team as a simulator driver and in 2020 became the reserve driver. He has also raced for the Mercedes-EQ Formula E Team and in 2021 was crowned ABB FIA Formula E World Champion

In an interview, Vandoorne said he was excited to be joining Aston Martin and was looking forward to help team-mates Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll develop the car for the 2023 F1 campaign

"It is incredibly exciting to be stepping into a reserve-driver role in Formula One - and I'm delighted to be doing it with Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula 1 Team.

"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," Vandoorne said.

"Joining Fernando, who I already know from my Formula One 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," he added.

Aston Martin boss Mike Krack said Vandoorne "will fit perfectly" into the Aston Martin team.

"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," Krack said.

"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," Krack added.

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