Motor racing-Aston Martin sign new F2 champion Drugovich as an F1 reserve

(Reuters) – Aston Martin have signed Brazilian Felipe Drugovich as one of their Formula One reserve drivers after he won the Formula Two championship in Italy at the weekend, the team announced on Monday.

The 22-year-old will also be the first member of their driver development programme.

Aston Martin said the plan was for Drugovich to drive in first free practice at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix in November and also to take part in a young driver test at the Yas Marina circuit.

“For 2023, he will undertake an extensive test programme behind the wheel of the 2021 AMR21 car and will attend selected grands prix as a member of the team,” they said in a statement.

Drugovich said 2023 would be “a learning curve.

“I will be working with the F1 team, but my primary goal is to learn and develop as a driver,” he said. “I hope that will give me an opportunity to race in Formula One in the future.”

Brazil has produced world champions Ayrton Senna, Emerson Fittipaldi and Nelson Piquet but has no driver on the 2022 starting grid.

The most recent was Brazilian-American Pietro Fittipaldi who competed twice as a reserve for the Haas team in 2020 when Frenchman Romain Grosjean was injured in a fiery crash.

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Ken Ferris)