Belgium back in Formula 1


Stoffel Vandoorne gave an outstanding performance in his debut race. He joined the McLaren racing team as a test driver at the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bahrain, taking the place of Fernando Alonso, who had a bad crash at the opening race of the season in Australia. The Belgian driver performed better than team mate Jenson Button. He ended tenth, winning the first point of the season for his racing team McLaren.

Stoffel Vandoorne remained modest after his excellent start. His team's race director was full of praise. "The championship point is a big achievement. He was asked to join the race at the last minute, had only just completed the long journey to Bahrain and still managed to deliver a perfect and mature performance."

It is quite exceptional for a driver to gain a World Championship point during his F1 debut. The last reserve driver to get a point in his first Formula 1 race was Sebastian Vettel. He came eighth in his debut in the American GP in 2007 in Indianapolis. With his performance Stoffel Vandoorne has put Belgium back on the Formula 1 map.

In the meantime F1 fans and enthusiasts are already speculating on his future career. He has not only strengthened his position in his own racing team, he has also demonstrated his worth to other F1 racing teams. Who knows, he may even receive an offer for a permanent driver's seat in the F1 in the coming weeks? He can then continue to shine in the rest of the season's races.

Stoffel Vandoorne can start dreaming of becoming part of very select club of legendary Belgian F1 drivers. The most famous of these is undoubtedly Jacky Ickx. He drove in the F1 in the years 1976 to 1979. He won eight races and ended in second place in the championships twice. The other famous Belgian is Thierry Boutsen. Boutsen drove in the F1 between 1983 and 1993 and won 3 races for Belgium.

Not only does Belgium have these great drivers, it also boasts Spa-Francorchamps, one of the most beautiful and legendary racing circuits. The circuit is in a magnificent location and is technically very challenging. It has a reputation for its particularly rural setting and unpredictable weather conditions. While one part of the course remains dry, another section can be really slippery from the rain.

Spa-Francorchamps is a favourite among both drivers and fans. If all goes well then Stoffel Vandoorne could be able to demonstrate his driving talents to a fellow Belgian audience. The Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix is to be held on 26, 27 and 28 August 2016.