Aston Martin has secured the services of the new Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich as the first member of its driver development programme.
Drugovich has won five races so far this season to be crowned F2 champion at Monza on Saturday – with a full round still remaining – and signed with Aston Martin on the same day. In his new F1 role, the Brazilian will become a reserve driver and is scheduled to run in FP1 in Abu Dhabi as well as the post-season young driver test.
“Becoming a member of the AMF1 Driver Development Programme is a fantastic opportunity for me – and only adds to what has been an extremely enjoyable and successful 2022 season,” Drugovich said. “Winning in Formula 2 has long been regarded as the best possible launchpad into a career in Formula 1, and I see my role at AMF1 as giving me all the tools to take that crucial next step.
“For me, 2023 will be a learning curve: I will be working with the F1 team, but my primary goal is to learn and develop as a driver. I hope that will give me an opportunity to race in Formula 1 in the future.”
Aston Martin’s new driver development programme has been developed with the team’s engineers and management and will involve Drugovich getting extensive testing in a 2021 car next year.
“Felipe has shown incredible talent, determination, and consistency to win this year’s FIA Formula 2 Championship – I particularly remember his fantastic Sprint and Feature victories at Barcelona in May, which were hugely impressive,” team principal Mike Krack said. “We are delighted that he is joining us as a member of our driver development programme, and we look forward to welcoming him as part of our team in Abu Dhabi this November.”
Team owner Lawrence Stroll says he hopes to see the programme lead to F1 race seats for young drivers in future.
“I am hugely proud to have inaugurated the AMF1 driver development programme: I am a big believer in rewarding young talent, and this is a fantastic way to help develop the next generation of racing drivers,” Stroll said. “We have watched and admired Felipe’s path 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.
“In the fullness of time, it would be the ultimate validation if he were to become a Formula 1 driver, joining the great pantheon of Brazilian racing drivers such as Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna.”