Silly season is still not over, folks. Break out the confetti. Stoffel Vandoorne is staying in town! Aston Martin has confirmed that the Formula E champ will step in as their test and reserve driver for the 2023 season.
Stoffel will join 2022 Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich as they embark on their new adventure within the Aston Martin team, sharing their duties across next year’s 24-race calendar and undertaking simulation and development programmes at the factory.
Welcome to the team, @svandoorne.
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— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) November 1, 2022
Stoffel Vandoorne said, “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.”
He continues, “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.”
But wait. Is there more to this than meets the eye, or are we just hanging onto any glimpse of hope?
The confirmation of Stoffel Vandoorne opens up a lot of questions. Firstly, Mercedes are now left without reserve drivers as Nyck De Vries also parted ways to drive for Alpha Tauri in 2023. With rumours heating up of Daniel Ricciardo joining as a third driver, this announcement has most definitely paved the path.
Secondly, what happens to Nico Hulkenberg? The team has had the services of the #Hulkenback legend since 2020, but it now appears he’s nowhere to be seen, at least at Aston Martin 👀
What do you think this means for Hulkenberg and Ricciardo in 2023?