2022 FIA Formula 2 champion, Felipe Drugovich, has become the first member of the newly set-up Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team Driver Development Programme.
The Brazilian clinched the 2022 Formula 2 title with MP Motorsport last weekend at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, wrapping it up with three races remaining having taken five victories this year, four of them in Feature races.
Aston Martin have not had a young driver programme up to now, with the team relying on the young drivers of other teams to run as their reserve driver, should they have needed one. They ran another former Formula 2 champion, Nyck de Vries, in first practice in Italy as the first of their two mandatory sessions for young drivers.
But Drugovich has become the first recruit of their new programme, which is aimed at helping drivers get through junior formulae and reach the FIA Formula 1 World Championship in the 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,” said Aston Martin Executive Chairman, Lawrence Stroll.
“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.”
Drugovich himself is excited by the challenge ahead of him, which will likely see him play an active part in the development of Aston Martin’s 2023 challenger as well as participate in official sessions for the team in the future.
“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,” said the Brazilian.
“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.”