To McLaren last week, for lunch with Stoffel Vandoorne, who this year becomes a full-time Formula 1 driver. As I write, the personable Vandoorne has but one grand prix to his name, subbing for Alonso in Bahrain last year, following Fernando's accident in Melbourne: impressively he scored a point, after outqualifying Jenson Button, and may be regarded as a superstar of the coming generation, alongside such as Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.
While Olivier Gendebien was one of the greatest sportscar drivers of all time, down the years Belgium has produced curiously few F1 drivers of consequence, with only Jacky Ickx and Thierry Boutsen on the list of grand prix winners. Assuredly Vandoorne will join them.
A member of McLaren's Young Driver Programme since 2013, Stoffel competed in both Formula Renault 2.0 and 3.5 before winning the GP2 championship in 2015. As McLaren's reserve driver, to stay sharp he spent last year in Japan's Super Formula.