MotorLat’s exclusive interview with Stoffel Vandoorne - Part 1 | Winning WEC’s LMP2 title is possible in Bahrain this weekend: “We are in the right position to win the championship”
Motorlat had the chance to meet exclusively Stoffel Vandoorne in a long, interesting interview. We talked about his roles as official driver for the Mercedes - EQ Formula E Team driver, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team test driver and Jota Sport WEC driver. In this first part, we focus on his experience in WEC and talk about his 2021 season in the week of the last race of the season
This week, the FIA Endurance Trophy for LMP2 Drivers will decide its winner in Bahrain. MotorLat had the opportunity to have an exclusive interview with Stoffel Vandoorne.
As well as being Mercedes AMG Petronas’ F1 reserve driver [a shared role with Nyck de Vries] and driving for Mercedes - EQ Formula E Team in Formula E, the Belgian races in the WEC in the Jota Sport in the LMP2 category, teaming up with Tom Blomqvist and Sean Galael. Together, we have analysed the current situation, his expectations for the next weekend and his thoughts on the sport, directly from Bahrain.
He raced in the highest WEC category last season, scoring podiums in LMP1 at his home event and Le Mans. Asked if he would like to do a full season of LMP1 in the future, he says: - “LMP1 has been a great experience. I raced a couple of times to get away with them and I enjoyed it. I raced in Spa at my home race and I arrived third, then I managed to arrive third at my first time doing Le Mans. I’ve been enjoying racing there so, yeah, I would consider to do a full season there in the future. It looks like this championship is going to grow a lot in the next years, adding a number of manufacturers. It’s very far, as my main focus in FE right now but who knows what the future could bring, I’m keeping my options open.”
In 2021, Vandoorne has raced in LMP2, driving for Jota Sport alongside Tom Blomqvist and Sean Galael. After the last week’s event, they are currently second, five points behind the leaders. We asked him if he thinks if he can turn it around next weekend and win the title.
“Yes, I definitely think so, - he tells us - We are in the right position to win the championship. We’re now P2 and 5 points behind, last week we were very competitive [despite] missing some parts in the race but we still managed to finish second. We’ve learned a lot from the last week and I think we’re going to make some good steps forward and make the best of it. I’m very positive about it.”
🏆🥈Another WEC trophy for the cabinet! P2 finish at the Bahrain 6 hours. Today that was the best possible result for us 🤷♂️ We’ll try do better next week!! pic.twitter.com/z7408dFKaC— Stoffel Vandoorne (@svandoorne) October 30, 2021
Formula E, Formula 1 and WEC are not the only options he considers, though. We asked the Belgian driver if we could actually see him in IndyCar too, testing with Arrow McLaren SP. Would he like to drive with them in the future and what could be the benefits?
“I’ve been having some talks with some teams and I got to visit the paddock in Laguna Seca, - he states - and to be honest I don’t know what could be viable options for me in the future but I like the cars, I like the circuits and I think it’s really an awesome category. As for Arrow McLaren, I am really close to them from my time driving for them in Formula 1. So yeah, maybe I will be doing some tests with them, see how the cars are like and see if there’s a viable option for my future. Now it’s still a bit too early.”