Click here for AUTOSPORT's Formula Renault 3.5 season review
Vandoorne steps up to FR3.5 after overcoming Red Bull junior driver Daniil Kvyat in the feeder category's 2012 title fight.
The 20-year-old Belgian won €500,000 towards a FR3.5 budget by claiming the two-litre category, and then tested with DAMS and Fortec post-season, setting a record pace during his Barcelona outing with Frijns' former squad.
Other drivers confirmed for FR3.5 2013 so far include Vandoorne's Eurocup rival Norman Nato and 2012 frontrunner Kevin Magnussen at DAMS, plus Auto GP star Sergey Sirotkin at ISR and race winner Arthur Pic at new team AV Formula.
The 2015 Formula Renault 3.5 season will be notable for being the last with the French company's backing but also produced a worthy champion in Oliver Rowland. PETER MILLS evaluates this year's crop of drivers
Last year's field was extraordinary and hard to match, but the Formula Renault 3.5 grid will still have plenty of talent this season. Glenn Freeman runs through the field ahead of this weekend's season opener
Landing the Fortec seat that took rising star Robin Frijns to the 2012 FR3.5 title was already a good sign for Stoffel Vandoorne. Then McLaren took him under its wing. Peter Mills tells Vandoorne's story so far