Drugovich confirms Aston Martin’s progress. Aston Martin’s reserve driver, Brazilian Felipe Drugovich, has had the opportunity to drive the team’s last three cars and compare the evolution with this season’s AMR23, and the newest driver for the team is confident that the car is indeed very quick.
Called in by Aston Martin just 72 hours before the start of the 2023 Formula 1 winter test, Brazilian Felipe Drugovich had a crazy three days in Bahrain driving the team’s new car.
As winter testing approached, the Aston Martin team announced that its starting driver Lance Stroll would not be available for pre-season testing following a cycling accident in Spain during practice. As a result, young Felipe Drugovich – the team’s reserve driver – has been parachuted into Bahrain to share the cockpit of the AMR23 with two-time world champion Fernando Alonso.
When asked if he managed to catch his breath after the intense few days, Drugovich said, “It’s been a crazy few days, quite rushed, but my mindset has been to enjoy the experience as much as possible.”
“It’s important to stay in the moment and enjoy it. At the end of the day, it’s just a steering wheel and four wheels. As a driver, you have to stay calm, focused and do your job.”
“There are about 700 people in the team who have done their job well. At this point, I’m just the next link in the chain – the 701st person who has to do their job well and stay focused on what they have to do.”
Best place to judge development
Since 2022, Felipe Drugovich has had the opportunity to drive the AMR21, AMR22 and AMR23 and when asked to compare the behaviour of the three cars, the Brazilian confides that the AMR23 suffers less from porpoising (rebound effect) than last season’s car and seems to perform better.
“The AMR21 is quite different – it was built to a very different set of regulations. It is much softer than the AMR22 and AMR23, which are much stiffer in terms of suspension.”
“The AMR23 works very well. The car handles well. It’s really nice to drive – nicer than last year, with less porpoising and bouncing.”
“But we’ll have to wait and see where we are in relation to the others, because during testing it’s hard to understand what your competitors are doing – but the AMR23 looks like a big step forward.”
Felipe Drugovich has been retained by the Aston Martin team as a possible replacement for Lance Stroll this weekend at the Bahrain Grand Prix (round one of the 2023 season), should the Canadian still not be able to get behind the wheel of his single-seater.
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