With no young driver development programme to speak of until now, Aston Martin today confirmed that newly crowned Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich member of its Driver Development Programme which mean’s he is one of the Formula 1 team’s reserves.
Drugovich won the F2 title in his third attempt this year winning five times and wrapping up the 2022 championship with two rounds still to run at Yas Marina Circuit at the F1 season finale. On that Friday, he will also be on FP1 duty in Lance Stroll’s car and will also take part in the Young Driver Test at the Abu Dhabi venue.
Aston Martin big boss Lawrence Stroll said of the appointment: “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.
“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 F1 driver, joining the great pantheon of Brazilian racing drivers such as Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna,” added the billionaire team owner.
Drugovich my primary goal is to learn and develop as a driver
“Becoming a member of the AMF1 Driver Development Programme is a fantastic opportunity for me,” said Drugovich in the official press release, “And only adds to what has been an extremely enjoyable and successful 2022 season.
“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,” concluded Drugovich.
AMF1 Team Principal Mike Krack said: “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.
“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.”
Felipe will do FP1 and the Young Driver Test with Aston Martin at Yas Marina in November
The 22-year-old Brazilian won five races to clinch the 2022 FIA Formula 2 Championship at Monza this past weekend and signed his contract with AMF1 on the day he was crowned champion.
The Driver Development Programme has been designed in concert with AMF1’s engineers and management and is intended to provide a stairway for junior drivers to reach F1.
As a member of the programme, Felipe will become one of the team’s reserve drivers. The team’s intention is for him to drive in FP1 at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix (substituting for Lance Stroll) and to also take part in November’s young driver test at the Yas Marina Circuit.
For 2023, he will undertake an extensive test programme behind the wheel of the 2021 AMR21 car and will attend selected Grands Prix as a member of the team.