Felipe Drugovich

Felipe Drugovich

Aston Martin signed Felipe Drugovich to its new Formula 1 driver academy two days after he clinched the Formula 2 title in 2022.

The Brazilian was born in 2000 and raced karts in his home country until 2014 when he moved his racing career to Europe. The highlight of his time on the international karting scene was third place in the 2015 WSK Champions Cup, and he also came eighth in that year’s European and World junior karting championships.

Durgovich started racing cars when he was 15, joining Neuhauser Racing to contest the 2016 ADAC Formula 4 championship in Germany. He came 12th in the championship with one podium finish.

A winter campaign in India’s MRF Challenge, where he claimed a maiden single-seater racing win and was fourth in the standings, made Drugovich more confident for his return to ADAC F4 in 2017.

This time he was driving for Van Amersfoort Racing, for which Drugovich won seven races and claimed three pole positions. It was not enough to become champion though, as a technical problem put him out of the penultimate race of the year and he lost the title by nine points.

VAR also entered Drugovich in two Italian F4 rounds that year, and he added another win to his CV, while later in the year he started preparations for 2018 by debuting in Formula 3. He finished outside of the points in all three races of the final round of the FIA’s European championship, then claimed a pole and a race win when he joined the Euroformula finale at Barcelona.

Another MRF Challenge campaign over that winter resulted in 10 wins and Drugovich’s first car racing title. A combination of timing and a limited budget meant a full-time move to Euroformula (which used older F3 cars) rather than FIA European F3 followed.

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That ended up being a great outcome for Drugovich, as he was driving for the crack RP Motorsport team and had a lower quality opposition to beat in Euroformula. Over 16 races he won 14 times and took 10 pole positions, with his worst two races both ending with second place finishes. Six of the races counted towards the Spanish F3 championship, which Drugovich also comfortably became champion of.

A side-step to the new FIA F3 Championship for 2019 had the opposite outcome for Drugovich to what the Euroformula move did, as he ended up mired towards the back of the grid in almost every race and only scored once.

Despite those bad results, he was still able to attract the sponsorship needed to step up to Formula 2 for 2020 with MP Motorsport. Drugovich claimed victory and fastest lap on his second start at the Red Bull Ring, earned his first pole position at Silverstone in the fourth qualifying session of his F2 career, took a second sprint race win at Barcelona and then ended the year by coming first and third in the final two feature races at Bahrain.

Drugovich won the 2022 Formula 2 title in emphatic style
He finished ninth in the standings, and moved to Virtuosi Racing for his sophomore season with ambitions of becoming champion. It did not work out, with a pair of third places in feature races and two second places in sprint races being the highlights of his season as he only moved one place up the points table compared to the year before.

Returning to MP for 2022 restored the form Drugovich had shown as a rookie, now supplemented by two seasons’ of experience in the series and the boost of several technical signings at MP that had turned it into the team to beat.

In a record-length 28-race season, Drugovich won the feature races in Jeddah, Monaco and Zandvoort and completed a rare double at Barcelona by coming from fourth on the grid to win the sprint race and then from 10th on the grid to win the feature. Six further podiums and four pole positions helped bring in a haul of points that meant Drugovich was crowned champion with three races to spare.

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On the weekend of his crowning he was signed by Aston Martin as their first ever F1 junior and as one of their reserve drivers. That led to his first F1 test at Silverstone and a practice outing at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, before he drove for the team again in post-season testing.

After the team’s race driver Lance Stroll was injured in a cycling accident, Aston Martin called Drugovich up to take over pre-season testing duties. Drugovich was named the team’s first choice as Stroll replacement, but the day before practice was due to begin Aston Martin confirmed Stroll would take part in the weekend, putting Drugovich’s F1 debut on hold.


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