Stoffel Vandoorne has said he is 'pleased' and 'excited' to have landed the reserve driver role at McLaren.
The 21-year-old was confirmed in the position on Thursday
, when it was also announced he will race in GP2 – F1's principal feeder category - with ART
“Obviously, I'm really pleased and excited to have been chosen as the team's reserve driver,” said the Belgian following the online launch of McLaren's 2014 F1 car today, the MP4-29. “I'll be working with the other drivers – Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen - to develop the car using the simulator, which is something I've been doing since I became a McLaren Young Driver.
“And, as I'll be contesting the GP2 championship this year, with ART GP2, I'll also be present at many grands prix, and I'll be integrated into the race team's programme, assisting Jenson and Kevin wherever I can.”
“Naturally, my aim this year is to win the GP2 championship, but the natural extension of that is the ambition to graduate to F1 – so I want to be in a position where I can contribute to, and learn from, the race team as possible throughout the season,” added the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 Series runner-up.
“I've been a McLaren Young Driver for almost a year [now], and I've been making increasingly regular visits to the MTC [McLaren Technology Centre]. I'm usually there at least once a week nowadays, and I'm increasing my workload and fitness levels so I can more fully commit. It's an exciting time for me.
“I'm positive that I can keep the momentum that I've developed over the past few years moving forwards,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, McLaren has confirmed to Crash.net
that it will retain the services of testers Gary Paffett and Oliver Turvey in 2014.