Home News 2022 F2 champion Felipe Drugovich secures racing return in ELMS

2022 F2 champion Felipe Drugovich secures racing return in ELMS

by Ida Wood

Photo: Aston Martin F1

Felipe Drugovich, the 2022 Formula 2 champion, will return to racing this year with Vector Sport in the European Le Mans Series.

He takes the place of Gabriel Aubry, who was set to race for the team, in a Oreca 07 LMP2 car shared with ex-GP3 racer Ryan Cullen and Stephane Richelmi, a GP2 race-winner and the LMP2 champion in the 2016 World Endurance Championship.

Drugovich was signed by the Aston Martin Formula 1 team as reserve driver and the first member of its new young driver development programme after he won the F2 title in September 2022. Two months later he got his first taste of F1 in a test at Silverstone, then drove in Abu Dhabi Grand Prix practice.

Although he was keen to keep racing for 2023, Drugovich could not find a programme. McLaren signed him as an F1 reserve driver, and he joined Maserati for Formula E’s rookie test in Berlin – which he was fastest in – then a practice session at the Rome E-Prix.

His F1 mileage with Aston Martin included the official pre-season and post-season tests, as well as private tests in old cars at Silverstone, the Red Bull Ring and the Hungaroring, and practice call-ups at the Italian and Abu Dhabi grands prix.

Aston Martin retained the 23-year-old for 2024, and he will be unavailable as reserve driver for the Miami, British and Dutch grands prix due to calendar clashes with ELMS.

Jessica Hawkins, a driver ambassador for the team who has joined Drugovich in F1 tests, has been announced as joining title-winning team Beechdean Motorsport in British GT to race one of Aston Martin’s GT3 cars. In her three W Series campaigns, Hawkins took one podium.

Also at the wheel of an Aston Martin Vantage AMR GT3 Evo this year is 20-year-old Danish racer Sebastian Ogaard, who has signed with Comtoyou Racing in the GT World Challenge Europe Endurance Cup.

The 2021 Spanish Formula 4 vice-champion won a race in a part-time Euroformula campaign in 2022 then stepped down to Formula Regional. Last year he came third in the Eurocup-3 championship with one win.

In GTWCE he will race against David Vidales, who got signed by famed Ferrari squad AF Corse after missing out on a Super Formula seat for 2024.

A karting prodigy who was watched closely by Fernando Alonso, Vidales made his car racing debut in the 2020 Formula Renault Eurocup and won his first two races at Imola. He finished the season sixth in the standings, and in 2021 started the FRegional Europe season with victory from pole at Imola and this time sank to 10th in the standings.

The step up to the FIA Formula 3 Championship for 2022 resulted in a win, and last year he moved across to Super Formula Lights where the 21-year-old Spaniard only got one podium.

Also swapping single-seaters for sportscars is 2021 USF2000 champion and 2023 USF Pro 2000 runner-up Kiko Porto, who is racing in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America. Porto stepped up to Indy Nxt for three races last year, but could not land a full-time seat for 2024.