In an exciting development for Formula 1 enthusiasts, Aston Martin has officially announced that its accomplished test driver and reserve driver, Felipe Drugovich, will be assuming the driving duties of the AMR23 during the FP1 session of the upcoming Italian Grand Prix. This strategic move is in line with the team’s commitment to fostering emerging talent and adhering to the rookie driver mandate.
As part of his ongoing evolution in the realm of motorsports, the talented Brazilian driver, Drugovich, is set to command the wheel during the action-packed 60-minute FP1 session at the iconic Monza circuit. Notably, he will be stepping into the cockpit in place of the seasoned F1 driver, Lance Stroll, demonstrating the team’s dedication to nurturing new talents.
This season’s rookie driver regulation stipulates that all Formula 1 teams are obligated to provide their junior drivers, who boast the experience of participating in no more than two Grand Prix races, with an opportunity to grace the track in their current F1 cars during the 60-minute FP1 session. The young and promising 23-year-old Drugovich falls perfectly within this category, paving the way for his remarkable outing.
While Drugovich has already showcased his prowess on several esteemed European circuits this year, including the likes of the Red Bull Ring, Barcelona, and Silverstone, it’s worth noting that these appearances were made behind the wheel of the older AMR21 F1 car. The imminent rookie session, however, promises to be a pivotal moment in Drugovich’s career, as he takes on the challenge of the cutting-edge AMR23.
Interestingly, this won’t be the first rendezvous between the Italian-Brazilian driver and the AMR23. In a testament to his versatility and capability, Drugovich had the chance to steer the AMR23 during a crucial juncture. When Lance Stroll encountered a period of recovery due to hand and wrist injuries prior to the commencement of the current season, Drugovich was swiftly called into action as a substitute driver for Stroll during the rigorous pre-season testing phase.
“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.”
The anticipation surrounding Drugovich’s appearance in the upcoming FP1 session is palpable. Buoyed by his prior experience in the simulator, the driver expressed his eagerness to get reacquainted with the AMR23 on the actual track. The simulator, it seems, has played a pivotal role in enhancing Drugovich’s understanding of the intricate dynamics of the car. With an infectious enthusiasm, Drugovich stated that this opportunity presents an ideal platform for him to translate his acquired knowledge into tangible on-track performance.
In a statement to Racingnews356.com, Drugovich elaborated, “I’m thrilled to once again take the wheel of the AMR23. The simulator time has been invaluable in bridging the gap between virtual and real-world driving. This session holds immense promise for me to showcase the practical application of what I’ve assimilated.”
“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.”