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McLaren confirms Vandoorne as reserve driver

NEWS STORY
23/01/2014

McLaren has officially confirmed Belgian driver vandoorne pphotlinkhighlight}Stoffel Vandoorne as its reserve driver for 2014, the youngster combining his duties with a full season in GP2.

The twin moves take the 21-year-old a step closer to his ambition of becoming an F1, an aim that's already been considerably strengthened following last year's impressive rookie season in the World Series by Renault 3.5 series, in which he was narrowly beaten to the title by Kevin Magnussen.

"I'm thrilled and honoured to have been selected by McLaren to be the team's reserve driver for 2014," said Vandoorne. "Equally, I'm really excited to have been selected to race for the ART GP2 team for 2014.

"I've been a member of the McLaren Young Driver Programme for almost a year now, and I've learned an enormous amount in that time. I visit the McLaren Technology Centre [MTC] at least once a week, sometimes more often than that, and I've done a lot of work in the MTC simulator to assist McLaren's Formula 1 engineers develop the new-for-2014 MP4-29 Formula 1 car.

"Equally, I've worked very hard on my physical and mental fitness over the past year, and the McLaren Young Driver Programme has been absolutely fantastic in that respect. The guys at Woking really know how to prepare a driver for Formula 1, and I've really enjoyed working with them. I still do."

"Stoffel is a truly excellent young driver," said Sam Michael, "fast, combative, consistent, intelligent and ambitious, and he's already made an excellent impression on all at McLaren during the year he's spent as a member of the McLaren Young Driver Programme.

"His technical input is first-class, he's excellent in our simulator, and he isn't afraid of hard work. He has a collaborative and engaging manner, and he's therefore as popular at McLaren as he is helpful."

"I plan to take my responsibilities as McLaren's official reserve driver very seriously indeed," concluded Vandoorne, "since I very much enjoy immersing myself in the technical aspects of grand prix weekends. I'll do whatever I can to help the team's two race drivers, both of whom are great guys and superb drivers, to achieve as much as they possibly can this season."

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