Vandoorne started karting in 1998, at age 6. He won the Belgian KF2 championship in 2008, coming runner up in the world KF2 championship.
Progressing to single seaters in 2010, he raced in F4 Eurocup, winning in his debut season after taking 6 victories. in 2012, he moved into Eurocup Formula Renault, finishing 5th overall with a sole win to his name. However, the following season, after switching teams, he won the championship – beating Daniil Kvyat by 10 points after the pair dominated.
In 2013, he raced in Formula Renault 3.5 but finished runner-up to Kevin Magnussen. But this perfromance was enough to land him a drive in GP2 for 2014, with ART.
He won the feature race on his debut and added a further three to his tally in the remainder of the season. Overall, he finished runner up to Jolyon Palmer and remained with ART in 2015. Winning five races and taking 11 podiums, Vandoorne dominated GP2 in 2015, winning the championship by over 100 points.
Vandoorne made his F1 debut at the Bahrain GP in 2016, stepping in for the injured Fernando Alonso. Qualifying ahead of Button, he then scored McLaren’s first points of the season, finishing 10th in the race – the first reserve driver since Vettel to score points on his debut.
In September 2016, Button announced he would be retiring and McLaren confirmed that Vandoorne would be his replacement.