Felipe Drugovich

F2 champion Drugovich gets Aston Martin call-up for Italian GP practice

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In the round-up: Aston Martin call on Felipe Drugovich to drive Lance Stroll’s car in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.

In brief

Drugovich to drive at Monza for Aston Martin

Aston Martin will become the latest team to tick the box for running a junior driver in a practice session this season when Drugovich takes over Stroll’s car on Friday morning at Monza.

“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,” said reigning Formula 2 champion Drugovich. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator helping to develop the car. 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 Formula 1 car.”

Aside from the three teams that signed rookies for 2023, Ferrari are the only team so far that have called upon a driver with less than three F1 starts to their name (as is required by the rules) to specifically contest a practice session.

Stroll feels let down by Dutch GP strategy

“Not fun. Strategy wasn’t right for us,” was Stroll’s quick description of the Dutch Grand Prix, after starting and finishing 11th.

“We thought maybe it’s going to stop raining and it would mean stay out [on] slicks is the right thing to do. But then when I saw everyone pitted after the first two laps I knew at that point it would have been a big disadvantage to pit, once everyone passed us on intermediates. So we were just trying to stay out. But we lost like a minute at the beginning of the race, just trying to stay out on slicks when it kept raining.”

Stroll made his first stop on lap four, after 14 drivers had pitted, and he dropped to 19th. He spent a third of the race there, and only six laps from the end did he return to 11th. Staying on slicks late on rather than switching to intermediate compound tyres while it was raining, for a second time, “was the worst thing to do” but Aston Martin repeated the error as they awaited heavier rain to switch to full wet tyres.

“Definitely a lot of wrong decisions were made today,” summarised Stroll.

Campos makes a line-up change for FIA F3 finale

Campos Racing has announced Hugh Barter will miss this weekend’s final FIA Formula 3 round at Monza, with Joshua Dufek taking his place.

Dufek steps up from Formula Regional, where he has claimed podiums in the European and Middle East championships over the last two years. He is currently ninth in the European standings. No reason has been given for why Barter, who is 18th in the F3 standings, will miss Monza.

“I’m extremely thrilled and thankful to both Campos Racing and Peak Performance Management to have been given this opportunity and can’t wait to work closely with the new team to learn as much as I can,” said Dufek. “As I’ve only competed in FREC up until now, it’ll be a bit of a jump into cold water but after a long summer break, I really couldn’t be more excited to hit the track and it’ll be nice to experience some more speed and power from the F3 machine.”

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Comment of the day

Drivers may move teams in 2025 with an eye on the year after when there is a technical overhaul of Formula 1’s regulations. But will established names even be open to a change of scenery for 2024 either to improve their current place in the pecking order or to start their preparations for 2026 super early?

If any teams plan to get their hands on either Leclerc or Sainz, now is the time. It is clear to see for all that neither is happy where they are.

If only Lawrence [Stroll, Aston Martin’s team chairman] were to give his son another job within the team. There’s sufficient money there to pay for either of the current Ferrari boys, and it would bring a sound challenge there.

Even at Mercedes there would be options as I can’t see Hamilton going on all that much longer.

Ferrari isn’t moving forward, it’s dropping down the order. It could be changed, but the spaghetti that Ferrari is, is currently way to difficult to untangle and straighten out. Overcooked and sticky. Time to open up a fresh package, replace everone, right from the bottom all the way up to the top. And that won’t happen with those egos, despite them always saying noone is bigger than Ferrari.
Coventry Climaz

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On this day in motorsport

  • 25 years ago today Damon Hill scored his final F1 win by giving Jordan (now Aston Martin) their first grand prix victory, at Spa


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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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3 comments on “F2 champion Drugovich gets Aston Martin call-up for Italian GP practice”

  1. At least one team uses the next viable opportunity to fill their minimum requirement, meaning the second will happen in Suzuka, Mexico City, or Abu Dhabi.
    I’m still surprised no team (bar the ones with rookie drivers by default) used their minimum requirements wholly or at all before the summer break like last season despite, even in Montmelo, despite stable technical regs from the previous season & that circuit being the most familiar to all current full-time drivers.
    Leaving everything late is always risky.

  2. I doubt he’ll finish the weekend scoring points for Williams, like the last guy who did this at Monza…

  3. @jerejj I think most teams weren’t thinking of getting a rookie for 2024. Had they been, a lot more use would have been made of the requirement earlier in the season, for it would have also served as an opportunity. Now I think teams are trying to wait until they know which rookies they’re more interested in for 2025 before picking one upon which to focus.

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