McLaren junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne has taken the most conclusive victory in the eleven-year history of Formula One’s leading feeder series GP2.
Vandoorne won the title last month with four races to spare, and by the time the season ended last weekend he had taken more wins, points and podium finishers than any of his predecessors, among which are Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonado.
Vandoorne finished second in his rookie season in the championship last year. He became champion having begun the year with fewer prior starts than any eventual champion since Hulkenberg won the title as a rookie in 2009.
He also scored 68% of a maximum total, comfortably beating the previous best of 54% set by Hamilton in 2006. He finished on the podium in over three-quarters of the races, again beating the previous record set by Hamilton.
But with both Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button under contract for McLaren’s race team in 2016 there is no immediate opportunity for Vandoorne to move into F1 unless last weekend’s rumours of a sabbatical for Alonso turn out to be true.
Last week Vandoorne tested a Super Formula car ahead of a potential move into Japan’s leading single-seater championship. Former F1 drivers Kamui Kobayashi, Kazuki Nakajima, Narain Karthikeyan and Andre Lotterer competed in the series this year, along with McLaren’s engine supplier Honda.
|Year||Champion||Races||Prior starts||Points||Pole Positions||Wins||Podiums|
- The time a fastest lap bonus point won Hamilton a championship
- Albon snatches win in race shaped by penalties
- GP2 officially becomes Formula Two for 2017
- Gasly wins GP2 title in Abu Dhabi
- F1 or GP2 in 2017? Stroll should take his own advice