F2 champion Drugovich joins Aston Martin F1 team
Felipe Drugovich, elected Formula 2 champion, has joined the driver development program of the Aston Martin Formula 1 team.
Drugovich mathematically sealed the F2 title at Monza on Saturday with three races remaining in the 2022 season.
The 22-year-old was a free agent with no existing team affiliation.
Asked about his future over the weekend, he confessed a reserve driver role was the best he could reasonably hope for, after rejecting offers to race in IndyCar.
“Becoming a member of the AMF1 Driver Development Program is a fantastic opportunity for me – and only adds to what has been a hugely enjoyable and successful 2022 season,” Drugovich said of his appointment at Aston Martin.
“Winning in Formula 2 has long been seen as the best possible launch pad to a career in Formula 1, and I consider my role at AMF1 to give me all the tools to take this crucial next step.
“For me, 2023 will be a learning curve: I will work with the F1 team, but my main objective is to learn and develop as a driver.
“I hope this will give me the opportunity to race in Formula 1 in the future.”
The deal will see Drugovich enter the 2022 Aston Martin for the opening practice session of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in place of Lance Stroll.
He will then remain with the team for post-season testing at the Yas Marina Circuit ahead of an extensive testing program throughout 2023.
“Felipe showed incredible talent, determination and consistency to win the FIA Formula 2 Championship this year. I remember in particular his fantastic sprint and final wins in Barcelona in May, which were hugely impressive,” said Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack.
“We are delighted to have him join us as a member of our Driver Development Program, and we look forward to welcoming him to our team in Abu Dhabi in November.”
Fernando Alonso will join Aston Martin next season on a two-year deal, with Stroll expected to stay in the team’s other car owned by his father.
“I’m extremely proud to have inaugurated the AMF1 Driver Development Programme: I’m a huge supporter of rewarding young talent, and it’s a fantastic way to help develop the next generation of racing drivers,” said Lawrence Stroll, executive chairman of the team. .
“We have watched and admired Felipe’s journey to success in Formula 2 this year, and we aim to provide him with all the skills and experience necessary to be able to take the next step in his career.
“Over time, it would be the ultimate validation if he became a Formula 1 driver, joining the great pantheon of Brazilian racing drivers such as Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna.”