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Why Drugovich remains to be dedicated to F1 future

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As a substitute the 2022 F2 champion will preserve himself busy with sim working and a programme of personal testing with a two-year-old automobile, upgraded from the AMR21 he used this season to the 2022 mannequin.

As such, he’s higher off than some reserves whose solely alternatives to run on monitor come on these uncommon events that the present automobile is out there – primarily the odd rookie FP1 session.

Nonetheless it’s a unique method to that taken by Sauber, who’re hoping to position Theo Pourchaire in Tremendous Method, and Alpine, who’re a WEC programme for Jack Doohan.

Learn extra: The F2 star rebuilding his future after a “nightmare” start to 2023

And in each {cases} the drivers can be popping out of an F2 season and thus haven’t already had a yr with out racing, as is the case with Drugovich.

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The problem he faces is that alternatives to maneuver as much as an F1 race seat are few and much between, even when you will have an honest sponsorship package deal, as he does. Remarkably it appears like there can be no adjustments to the 2024 driver line-up, assuming that Logan Sargeant is staying at Williams.

Certainly Drugovich was considered one of a number of drivers eyeing the American’s seat, and the truth that his affirmation at Aston got here comparatively early signifies that his administration accepted {that a} transfer to Grove wasn’t an possibility.

In the meantime at Aston he faces an uncommon scenario in that one seat will inevitably be stuffed by Lance Stroll for the foreseeable future, whereas the opposite will at all times be earmarked for a longtime prime driver, be that Fernando Alonso or whoever may someday observe the Spaniard.

Photograph by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin AMR23

From the surface it’s exhausting to see a pure development for him on the Silverstone outfit. Nonetheless he’s completely satisfied to remain the place he’s.

“I feel I have been actually comfy with the workforce, they have been actually useful for me and making an attempt to organize me as a lot as a lot as they’ll,” he says. “Clearly, we have been ready to see different alternatives in F1.

“However I feel in the mean time, it is the most suitable choice for me simply to remain right here. And they’re actually taking good care of me. And one of many issues that I actually like is simply so I can develop myself right here and simply attempt to enhance on monitor and off monitor on a regular basis, additionally in personal assessments and this sort of stuff. So I actually really feel prepared.”

Drugovich admits it is “exhausting to say” how shut he was to touchdown a drive at Williams, however determined that “the most effective I may get in the mean time was right here. And that’s the fundamental aim proper now, to do properly.”

There’s additionally the query of whether or not he can be launched to take up one other drive, ought to one develop into out there inside 2024.

Although he says it “all relies on the workforce” and believes “no workforce would maintain you if a chance comes and permit an exit someplace else,” the Brazilian says he’s “very comfy” at Aston.

“I feel it is a good place for me, I take pleasure in doing these items,” he says. “Which firstly of the yr, I’d say it was a bit exhausting to take pleasure in, not racing, however you discover ways to do it.”

Felipe Drugovich, MP Motorsport

Photograph by: Dutch Photograph Company

Felipe Drugovich, MP Motorsport

Regardless of his apparent dedication to an F1 future, Drugovich admits {that a} racing programme alongside his personal testing would have its enchantment.

“I imply, I want I used to be racing in one thing,” he says. “Clearly doing it for 15 years and out of the blue one yr you do not have something to do, it is fairly powerful.

“Though I am not racing I really feel able to race at any time when I can, thanks to those assessments and all of the creating issues I am doing with the workforce. So yeah, I really feel prepared.

“I’ve labored my complete life to be right here, and to be driving F1. So even this yr I’ve had different alternatives to drive in different classes, good alternatives, good contacts, and no matter.

“I would not say I refused them, I simply stated F1, that is my fundamental aim, I would like to attend about it. And I need to be there. In all probability not the most effective for the profession exterior of F1. However I am eager on doing much more than this simply to have a seat someday.”

Nonetheless, long term he concedes that Aston’s personal hypercar challenge might be an fascinating alternative to get some racing miles – if an F1 alternative just isn’t out there.

Drugovich drove the present AMR23 in Bahrain testing after Stroll was injured and once more in FP1 at Monza, and he’ll have one other run in Abu Dhabi.

Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin F1 Workforce

However his fundamental homework has been completed with the {old} spec automobile, generally working on his personal, generally sharing a monitor with an Alpine, often pushed by Doohan. He concedes that it’s not at all times simple to benchmark his progress.

“It is tough to check generally, the demo tyres are fairly completely different,” he says. “Clearly, the monitor is often not on the similar stage. And the engine just isn’t the identical, and all this sort of factor.

“However really, this yr, I used to be impressed, by the second or third take a look at we did, we have been already like, on quali lap instances from two years in the past, which was actually spectacular.

“And although I obtained to drive this [current] automobile, the ’21 automobile or the earlier technology automobiles are actually spectacular. So it is at all times a fantastic pleasure to drive them and be on the restrict.”

The personal working is a helpful a part of his schooling, however Drugovich admits that it’s irritating that possibilities to drive the present automobile are so uncommon in contrast with the times when testing was unrestricted.

“Sure, as a result of when can we get the alternatives, it is usually fairly brief,” he says. “So, it form of goes the way in which of it is advisable be quick, however you can’t crash the automobile. So clearly drivers really feel a bit restricted.

“These days, we get an FP1, and so they count on you to point out all the pieces, so it is fairly powerful. However on the similar time, I feel the give attention to F1 groups modified a bit bit as properly, for those who gained something again then, they’d usually know that you just’re quick.

“However once you get these alternatives it is usually extra vital so that you can present that you are a very constant driver, you understand how to work with a workforce, and also you’re mature sufficient to be there.”

Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin F1 Team

Photograph by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin F1 Workforce

The most important drawback for Drugovich is that it’s really easy to lose momentum. There’s at all times one other younger man on the way in which up, and at 23 he now faces potential competitors from the likes of 18-year-olds Oliver Bearman and Zak O’Sullivan.

FP1 in Mexico gave a taster of how a lot expertise is on the market, and much more rookies can be on monitor in Abu Dhabi. In the mean time there’s nowhere for any of them to go.

“Clearly it is irritating for a driver arising that there isn’t a place,” says Drugovich. “Many drivers have both completed the identical and even lower than you get the possibility, or obtained the possibility prior to now, and you do not. However it’s what it’s, we will not change it.

“And I feel I simply must work as a lot as I can to point out off that I’m able to be there. And perhaps someday be a correct F1 driver for the entire yr.”

For the previous few years, Drugovich has been seen as Brazil’s fundamental hope of getting a driver again on the F1 grid.

Even that standing may now be questioned, with F3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto becoming a member of McLaren’s younger driver programme.

Nonetheless, he nonetheless feels that there’s loads of help from his countrymen.

“There’s a stress, however I feel it is a good stress,” he says. “It is not one thing that’s disturbing. It is simply they need somebody there. And so they see that on me. And I feel that is a great factor. It was only a good stress, so I see that as a as a Positive.”

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