Aston Martin reserve Drugovich set for FP1 outing at Italian GP
Aston Martin have confirmed that test and reserve driver Felipe Drugovich will make another appearance for the team this weekend when he gets behind the wheel of the AMR23 for Friday’s first practice session ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
Drugovich, who secured the 2022 Formula 2 title at Monza 12 months ago, will replace Lance Stroll and line up alongside Fernando Alonso for the opening 60-minute session around the famous ‘Temple of Speed’.
It comes after the 23-year-old Brazilian stood in for the injured Stroll during pre-season testing at the Bahrain International Circuit, where he got his first taste of Aston Martin’s 2023 challenger.
Drugovich made his practice debut with Aston Martin at last year’s season finale in Abu Dhabi and has been driving the 2021-spec AMR21 at circuits around Europe – Silverstone, Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya and the Red Bull Ring – as part of his development role.
Thanking Aston Martin for the opportunity, Drugovich said: “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.
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“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.”
Aston Martin team boss Mike Krack added: “We are delighted to be able to provide Felipe with another opportunity to drive the AMR23. He demonstrated his capabilities in pre-season testing, with a vital contribution to the team’s initial development of the car.
“Monza will offer another chance for Felipe to work closely with the engineers and mechanics and build his confidence in a critical session for the team. We look forward to maximising this session together.”