Formula 1

Felipe Drugovich Steps Up for Aston Martin at Italian GP, Fulfilling F1 Rookie Mandate

Aston Martin has officially announced Felipe Drugovich as Lance Stroll’s replacement for the Italian Grand Prix’s first practice session. This move is part of fulfilling F1’s rookie driver mandate, providing Drugovich with a vital opportunity to showcase his skills.

Key Takeaways:

  • Rookie Driver Mandate Compliance: Aston Martin has confirmed Felipe Drugovich as their choice to fulfill the F1 rookie driver mandate at the Italian Grand Prix. Drugovich will take Lance Stroll’s place in the AMR23 car during the FP1 session at Monza.
  • Drugovich’s Rising Profile: At 23 years old, Drugovich has already tested his mettle on various European tracks in the AMR21. The Italian GP FP1 session presents a new challenge in the latest AMR23, marking a significant step in his career.
  • Enthusiastic Anticipation from Drugovich: Reflecting on his pre-season experiences and simulator training, Drugovich expressed his eagerness to rejoin the AMR23 cockpit, emphasizing the importance of this opportunity in his development and contribution to the team.

Aston Martin’s decision to promote Felipe Drugovich to the first practice session at the Italian Grand Prix marks a significant moment in the young driver’s career. Stepping in for Lance Stroll, Drugovich’s participation not only meets the rookie driver rule of the season but also showcases his growing role within the team. This rule mandates that F1 teams must give their junior drivers, who have participated in no more than two Grand Prix, the chance to drive in the 60-minute FP1 session.

Having previously driven the older AMR21 on several European circuits, including the Red Bull Ring, Barcelona, and Silverstone, Drugovich’s upcoming stint in the AMR23 at Monza is a substantial upgrade and a testament to his rapid progress. The team acknowledges this, stating, “The bespoke programme is designed to equip Felipe with the necessary skills and experience to compete at the highest level of motorsport, aiding his continuous development as a driver.”

Notably, this isn’t Drugovich’s first experience with the AMR23. He had previously stepped in as a substitute driver during pre-season testing while Lance Stroll was recovering from injuries. Reflecting on his upcoming participation, Drugovich shared with “I can’t wait to get back behind the wheel of the AMR23. The car felt great when I drove it in pre-season testing and it will be fascinating to feel how it has improved since then. I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator helping to develop the car, so understanding how that correlates to the real thing will be super valuable for me too. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for me to demonstrate what I’ve learnt through my testing programme. Since Bahrain I’ve done many more miles in an F1 car so I have an even better understanding of how I can deliver valuable feedback for the team.”

His enthusiasm and confidence underscore the importance of this opportunity for both his personal development and his role in advancing Aston Martin’s competitive edge. Drugovich’s time in the AMR23 at the Italian GP will be a pivotal moment in his burgeoning career, one that could shape his future in Formula 1.

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