Drivers like Drugovich “need to be patient” for F1 seat – Aston Martin boss

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In the round-up: Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack says drivers like the team’s reserve Felipe Drugovich will have to be patient for their chance to race in Formula 1.

In brief

F2 champion Drugovich must “be patient” with F1 dream

Reigning Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich is spending this year as Aston Martin’s reserve driver in Formula 1, and has already been passed over for a race seat at the team for 2024.

Only three of the last 11 champions of F2 and its predecessor GP2 went into full-time F1 seats the following year. Drugovich may now be facing two years on the sidelines having also missed out on a move to Formula E with Maserati who he had tested for.

Krack said the challenges young drivers facing breaking into F1 is a “difficult topic” for the sport. “Even if you don’t make this step immediately, or even the year or the year after, I think there is always some constraints where there’s regulation changes, teams wants consistency with their drivers.

“Whereas in the junior categories you move up every year, or every second year, in F1 people stay for long so it’s natural that you don’t have so many places. I think at the end of the day, people like Felipe or now the next champion or the previous one, they need to be patient, and they need to try and keep themselves in the game as much as possible.”

Drugovich is set to drive for the team in at least one practice session later this year, having made his F1 race weekend debut in practice at the Italian Grand Prix.

F2 racer Jehan Daruvala gets Maserati FE seat

The Maserati and Mahindra Formula E teams have done the equivalent of a driver swap for 2024, with Edoardo Mortara leaving Maserati after six years to race for Mahindra while the latter’s reserve driver Jehan Daruvala has left them to land a race seat with Maserati.

Daruvala is in his fourth season racing in Formula 2 and is currently 12th in the standings with three podiums. The former Red Bull junior came seventh in the championship the last two years, and has four race wins to his name.

He has Formula 1 test experience with McLaren, and after becoming Mahindra’s reserve driver at the start of 2023 he got to participate in FE’s Berlin rookie test and rookie practice session at the Rome EPrix.

New Aston Martin supercar inspired by F1

Aston Martin Valhalla
Aston Martin’s Valhalla bristles with F1-style innovations
The consulting arm of Aston Martin’s Formula 1 team is working with the manufacturer’s road car division to develop the mid-engined Valhalla supercar.

It will have a fully active aerodynamic system – currently prohibited in F1, though under consideration for introduction in 2026 – including multi-element front and rear wings. The front wing “can lie flat in a DRS position to reduce drag or can be angled up to generate huge downforce directly ahead of the front wheels”, and a ground effect design technique is used in its under-floor surface.

“Inspired by F1 vortex generators and aero features, small slotted louvers on the sill, just ahead of the rear wheel, act as mini diffusers to pull airflow out and upwards from under the car, increasing downforce,” Aston Martin explained in an announcement. “A roof-mounted snorkel feeds both the engine intake, as it does in F1, but also serves to feed cooling ducts for turbo intercoolers and to cool the engine’s Hot-V turbo configuration.

“The Valhalla is powered by a twin-turbo V8 engine, which Aston Martin call “the most advanced, responsive and highest-performing V8 engine ever fitted to an Aston Martin and, when mated with three e-motors, creates a 1,012ps all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain”.

The Valhalla has twin electric motors on its front axle for four-wheel-drive and allow gives torque control at all four corners. A third electric motor provides additional power to the rear axle and serves as the starter for the conventional engine.

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Comment of the day

At the Japanese Grand Prix, Lando Norris broke the record for the most points in F1 without a win. He finished second, and his McLaren team mate Oscar Piastri claimed his first podium in third place.

The streak of most races passed without a maiden podium ended with Piastri finishing 3rd – he is the 216th driver to score a F1 podium. Russell was the 215th to do so 48 races ago (756 days) at the Belgium 2021 race. For reference Alonso was the 184th in 2003, Lewis was 192nd in 2007 and Perez was 199th in 2012.

The previous longest dry spell of maiden podium was 41 races long but in days this holds the record with 924 days. It started on Sept 8th 2008 after Vettel took his shock maiden win/podium at Monza and ended March 27th 2011 when Vitaly Petrov scored his maiden and only podium in his F1 career.

All of the last ten maiden podium scorers are still in F1 today – if Liam starts in Qatar there will be 15 drivers with at least one podium, if Ricciardo starts it will be 16 – not sure if that is the record or not.

Max extended his own record of most wins in a 36 months period from 38 to 39 wins. Red Bull increased their own record to 44 wins but are still trailing Mercedes who holds the record with 51 wins in 36 months.
Jimmy Cliff

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Brian Munene and Spencer Ward!

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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9 comments on “Drivers like Drugovich “need to be patient” for F1 seat – Aston Martin boss”

  1. Krack is right. Drugovich’s got to be patient. Sooner or later Lance Stroll is finally going to blossom into a title contender and for that reason, them all have to wait and not rush the proceedings just yet. He can have a lookt at his options, but Aston Martin is waiting for Lance as long as it needs to.

    1. Came here to make sure this was posted, left satisfied :)

  2. Fun fact about Aston Martin’s Valhalla: it too is only allowed to drive at 70 mph on an English motorway.

    Time to get back to that Valkyrie project and go racing!

  3. How about drivers like Stroll, AM guys? I don’t think they deserve to talk about drivers need to do to get into F1 until they explain what did Stroll do to deserve to stay in it.

  4. If that opportunity ever arises, a risk that exists.
    No team was truly interested in him until AM signed him as a reserve driver, so doubtful anyone would be any more interested later when his F2 championship’s recency relevance will have vanished, not to mention he’s barely done any active racing since his last F2 race, which doesn’t help matters either.

  5. The thing is, there are F2 champions and then there are F2 champions. There are guys like Piastri who comfortably win the title on their first attempt, who are obviously F1 material. Then there are the ones like Drugovich who take three years to get there and benefit from a generally uninspiring field when they finally do triumph.

    It says a lot that there has been more consistent talk this year about Alex Palou coming to F1 than any of the current F2 field, and that AlphaTauri’s first choice for the seat previously occupied by Nyck de Vries (himself a former F2 champ, but not of especially recent vintage) was Colton Herta. In the increasingly unlikely event that an F1 seat becomes available, teams are as likely to look across the Atlantic as into their own feeder series.

  6. Please get rid of Stroll and put in Drugovich already for 2024.
    No real chance of Drugovich doing worse than Stroll – just have a look at Liam Lawson at AT.

    The only driver worse than Stroll is Sergeant which hopefully is also replaced next year with either Liam or another rookie like Vesti or Pourchaire.

    1. Also don’t forget that Sergeant is a rookie and much younger than Stroll the son, and not any worse than he was in his own rookie season. So even the young American is probably a much better prospect. Drugovich is kinda meh though, he won F2 only after the best talents had already left. I don’t see why everyone has to get a chance, if I owned a team I’d be more selective than that. But since they have only one racing driver, having anyone in that second car would be a serious upgrade. Won’t happen though.

  7. Drugovich wasn’t picked up at any point by any of the Red Bull, Honda, Mercedes, Ferrari, Alpine, McLaren, Alfa Romeo, Williams or Sauber driver development programs, nor any program aimed at sending drivers to other series either, for that matter (such as Toyota).

    People can beat up on Stroll all they like, I guess, but it’s worth noting that Stroll’s team is the only one who has offered Drugovich anything at all in regard to F1….

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