- Hometown: Kortrijk, Belgium
- Residence: Monaco
- Date of Birth: 26 March 1992
On 31 March 2016, it was announced Vandoorne would be replacing regular McLaren Honda driver Fernando Alonso at the Bahrain Grand Prix after the Spaniard was ruled unfit to drive following a major accident in the previous round. After qualifying 12th, ahead of McLaren teammate Jenson Button, Stoffel finished 10th and became the first reserve driver to score points on debut since Sebastian Vettel at the 2007 United States Grand Prix.
His successful debut in 2016 earned him an official seat at McLaren next to Fernando Alonso in the following 2017 season. In his first full Formula 1 season, Stoffel scored 13 points and scored his top finishes in Singapore and Malaysia in 7th place.
Stoffel continued with McLaren in 2018 and as McLaren’s performance issues continued, he scored 12 points with his best finishes in 8th place in Bahrain and Mexico.
After a couple difficult seasons at McLaren, Stoffel left Formula 1 and joined new entrant and Mercedes-Benz affiliate HWA Racelab in Formula E ahead of Season 5. In addition to this role, Stoffel became a simulator driver at Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula 1 and replaced ex-McLaren teammate Jenson Button to run the 6 Hours of Spa and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with SMP Racing in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) where he would go on to achieve two 3rd place podium finishes, the highest of the non-hybrid LMP1 cars.
To date, Stoffel has achieved the following during the span of his racing career:
28 Pole positions
Stoffel Vandoorne started his motor racing career at the age of six.
After winning races in the Belgian National Outdoor Karting Championships, his big breakthrough came in 2008 at the age of 16, when he raced for Belgian VDK Racing Team in the Belgian and French KF2 Championships. That year he was crowned Belgian KF2 Champion.
2009 saw the start of Stoffel’s international racing career. In the KF2 category he competed in the WSK (both in the European Championship and the World Cup) with some standout performances, earning him the title of vice-champion. He also won the prestigious RACB National Team Steering Wheel.
The following 2010 season, Stoffel moved up to single-seater racing, joining the F4 Eurocup 1.6 Series. He won the series in his first season with two races to go, achieving six wins.
During the 2011 season he competed in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup with KTR, finishing fifth overall.
Hugely impressed by these results, Josef Kaufmann Racing swooped to sign him to drive in the same championships in 2012, with Stoffel becoming Eurocup champion after securing four wins and six podiums and tasted success five times in the NEC.
In 2013 Stoffel became the Formula Renault 3.5 series Vice-Champion, racing for Fortec Motorsport. He also joined the McLaren Young Driver Programme.
The 2014 season saw Stoffel confirmed as the official McLaren Mercedes reserve driver. Beside his F1 role, Stoffel was racing in the GP2 Series for the French squad ART Grand Prix. After a successful season with 4 Pole positions and 4 Victories, Stoffel finished runner-up in the 2014 GP2 Series.
Stoffel continued with ART Grand Prix in the GP2 Series in 2015, winning the Championship in an impressive fashion with 7 Victories, 16 Podiums, 4 Pole Positions and 341.5 points. With the increased success, he was also confirmed as McLaren Honda’s Test and Development driver. This led to Stoffel being confirmed as the official reserve driver for McLaren Honda.
In addition to his new F1 role, Stoffel began racing in the Japanese Super Formula championship as an official Honda driver with the DoCoMo Team Dandelion Racing. He ended the season with 2 Victories, 1 Pole position and 3 Podiums.