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Formula Renault 3.5

You made your single-seater debut four years ago. Did you expect to make your way into the Formula Renault 3.5 Series so quickly?Not really. The Royal Automobile Club of Belgium (RACB) gave me the opportunity to compete in the F4 Eurocup 1.6 series and it was one I had to take. Everything happened very quickly after that. I remember watching the drivers at the time and hoping that one day I’d be in their place.

The RACB, the Autosport Academy, the FIA Institute and the McLaren Young Driver Programme have all helped you during the course of your career. What have you gained from their support?They have all really helped me to succeed. The RACB was the first to give me a chance to try my hand in a single seater. They gave me financial support and without them I’d never have been able to drive single seaters. At the Autosport Academy I learned how to drive and set up a single seater and also how to work with the media. Things started to get more serious when I was selected for the FIA Young Driver Excellence Academy. We worked closely with experienced drivers like Alex Wurz and Robert Reid, who taught us the little tricks of the trade. I joined the McLaren Young Driver Programme not so long ago and it’s given me a big push already. They take care of my physical preparation, and they’ve taught me how to improve in a technical sense and get the best out of a single seater.

You received €500,000 for winning the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 title and to help you make the move up to the Formula Renault 3.5 Series. Has that financial support been important? Yes, I really don’t think I’d have been able to drive this year without it. To be honest, though, I don’t think about it anymore and I feel relaxed. I need to make the most of the chance I’ve been given.

Though you were expected to be up there with the leaders, you stunned everyone with your performances at Monza. Did you expect to do so well? I didn’t really expect to win my first race, but everything went perfectly for us and I had the pace I needed to go out and do it. I know the level of competition is very high, though, and I’ll need to give it everything I’ve got.

How are you going to approach the rest of the season?I’m going to take each race as it comes and try to get the best possible result every time. I’ve got some good momentum going and I want it to continue.

Stoffel Vandoorne:
Born on 26 May 1992 in Kortrijk, Belgium.
2008: Belgian Karting KF2 champion
2009: Runner-up KF2 Karting World Cup
2010: F4 Eurocup 1.6 champion
2011: Fifth in Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0
2012: Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 champion

Official Renault Sport Press Release.

Posted: 26 April 2013
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