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McLaren and the FIA announced yesterday that Fernando Alonso has been ruled out of this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix.
The news came after Alonso underwent a second set of medical checks following his horror smash at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.
The checks found that the Spaniard had suffered a rib and lung injury.
McLaren has since confirmed that test and reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne will be taking over from Alonso for this weekend.
So just who is Vandoorne then?
A future champ in the making?
The 24-year-old Belgian is being hailed as possibly McLaren’s most impressive young talent yet, having been signed as a test driver in January 2014 and continuing duties last season.
The driver excelled in his first GP2 season in 2014, winning his debut race in the F1 feeder series and finishing a close second in the championship to current Renault F1 driver Jolyon Palmer.
The 2015 season saw Vandoorne blitz the competition, as he won the title with four races to spare. The Belgian would finish the season with seven wins and moved to the top of the all-time wins list, with 11 wins over two seasons.
By comparison, previous record-holder Pastor Maldonado achieved ten wins over four seasons.
Pundits also cited Vandoorne’s winning percentages, scoring a record 68 percent of the maximum points on offer in 2015. This figure tops previous record-holder Lewis Hamilton’s 54 percent haul set in 2006.
Vandoorne also excelled in lower formulae, claiming the Formula Renault 2.0 EuroCup title at the second attempt and finishing runner-up to Kevin Magnussen in the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 championship.