Stoffel Vandoorne to race with number 47 in Bahrain

Stoffel Vandoorne will make his Formula 1 debut at this weekend’s Bahrain Grand Prix with the number 47, after being called in to replace Fernando Alonso.

The McLaren reserve driver will race in the series for the first time after Alonso suffered a pneumothorax and broken ribs in his Australian Grand Prix crash.

Vandoorne won the GP2 title in 2015 and was made McLaren’s reserve driver for the 2016 season. He was mid-way through a Super Formula test in Japan when he got the call to say he would replace Alonso.

The Belgian racer has made several test appearances for McLaren, most recently driving at Pirelli’s Paul Ricard tyre test in February.

Vandoorne’s race number was confirmed on the entry list on Thursday. He will run the number 47 on his F1 debut.