McLaren reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne has qualified for his FIA Superlicense, which allows him to participate in a Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The Belgian racked up a total of 136 laps – more than two Grand Prix race distances, double the amount required by the FIA – in his first outing behind the wheel of McLaren’s MP4-29 on the second day of in-season testing at the Circuit de Catalunya.

“This has been a fantastic day for me: my first experience in a Formula 1 car, and a really great opportunity to get plenty of laps under my belt,” he said after his maiden run.

“I want to say a big thank you to the team. It’s great to have contributed to the test programme: 136 laps was a fantastic achievement, and it’s great that it’s earned me the right to be granted a Formula 1 Super Licence.

“Now my focus turns towards my next event – the GP2 races in Monaco next Friday and Saturday. I’m looking forward to bouncing back from a tricky weekend in Barcelona, and would love to get some great results there.”

Vandoorne is racing in the GP2 Series with the ART Grand Prix team. After winning the season-opening feature race in Bahrian, he had a troubled time last weekend in Spain and fell to sixth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, 45 points adrift of current leader Jolyon Palmer.

Image via XPB Images

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.