Ex-McLaren driver Vandoorne gets Mercedes F1 reserve driver role

Valentin Khorounzhiy
Vandoorne gets Mercedes F1 reserve driver role

Formula E championship leader Stoffel Vandoorne has been named reserve driver for the Mercedes Formula 1 team for the 2020 season.

Vandoorne, who drives for the German manufacturer's factory team in FE, has been out of F1 since losing his McLaren drive to Lando Norris at the end of 2018.

He slots into Mercedes' F1 structure alongside fellow former grand prix full-timer Esteban Gutierrez - who is also Mercedes' FE reserve - with the manufacturer confirming the two will "share reserve driver duties on race weekends".

Mercedes - which launched its 2020 F1 car on Friday - had Esteban Ocon as its full-time reserve last year, but the Frenchman subsequently signed a deal to race for Renault in 2020.

Following the coronavirus-induced postponements of the Sanya E-Prix and the Chinese Grand Prix, there remain three direct clashes between Vandoorne's main FE 2019-20 programme and the F1 2020 calendar.

The Rome E-Prix clashes with the Vietnamese GP, the Seoul E-Prix is on the same weekend as the returning Dutch GP, while the Jakarta E-Prix shares a weekend with the Baku F1 race.

Vandoorne was a long time junior driver for McLaren, and took a best finish of 16th in the F1 standings with McLaren in 2017 and 2018, his two full-time years with the team before he was dropped for the 2019 season.

He contested the 2018/2019 Formula E season with HWA, which then became Mercedes' current works team for 2019/20.

Vandoorne gets Mercedes F1 reserve driver role

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