Official: Drugovich to replace Stroll if needed. In the event that Lance Stroll is unfit to race at the Bahrain Grand Prix, the Aston Martin team will call on Brazilian Felipe Drugovich to drive the AMR23 at the first race of the season.
The Aston Martin team said on Sunday that Brazilian Felipe Drugovich – currently the team’s reserve driver – will replace incumbent Lance Stroll for the Bahrain Grand Prix if the Canadian is still unfit to race.
Just before this week’s winter test in Bahrain, Aston Martin confirmed that its regular driver Lance Stroll would not be available for the test due to a cycling accident in Spain during practice. The Canadian suffered “minor” injuries, according to the official statement, but his condition requires several weeks of recovery.
Stroll’s injury worse than first thought?
The statement released by the team has created speculation that Stroll’s in juries are far worse than the team suggests.
Ironically Lance Strolls new team mate Fernando Alonso also had his pre-season preparations interrupted when he was knocked of his bike early in 2021.
The double world champion had to endure reconstructive surgery on his jaw which involved two titanium implants being fitted. Yet Alonso’s incident was four weeks before winter testing and six weeks prior to the first race weekend of the season.
Unconfirmed reports suggest Stroll has been seen leaving hospital with a cast on his arm, which would suggest he will not be fit to race in just over a week at the F1 season opener in Bahrain.
Stroll replacement named
With Lance Stroll’s presence at the first round of the world championship in Bahrain at the end of this week not assured, his team has decided to appoint Brazilian Felipe Drugovich as Stroll’s official replacement, but the British manufacturer’s team says it will continue to give Lance Stroll “every opportunity to race”.
“Here is an update on our driver pairing for the Bahrain Grand Prix. The team will continue to give Lance every opportunity to race, pending his recovery from injury,” Aston Martin said in a short statement.
“If he is not fit to compete, then Felipe [Drugovich]will drive the AMR23 alongside Fernando [Alonso].”
The Aston Martin team has thus put an end to all the rumours that suggested in recent hours a possible return of German Sebastian Vettel to the paddock to replace Lance Stroll at the Bahrain Grand Prix.