Aston Martin conducted a Formula 1 test at the Hungaroring last Thursday with their 2021 car and with Felipe Drugovich and Jessica Hawkins behind the wheel.
Drugovich is the reigning Formula 2 champion and was signed by Aston Martin as their reverse driver days after claiming the title. He made his F1 test debut in the Aston Martin AMR21 at Silverstone last year, then later drove for the team in practice for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix as well as post-season testing at Yas Marina Circuit the week after.
He started 2023 by driving for Aston Martin in pre-season testing and being added to McLaren’s roster of F1 reserve drivers. Since then he has done several private tests with Aston Martin, taken part in an official test and a practice session for Maserati in Formula E and earlier this month drove in practice for F1’s Italian Grand Prix.
A race seat in FE is an avenue that Drugovich has been looking at for 2024 but his chances of making it onto the grid for next season look uncertain at present, while Aston Martin and McLaren already have full F1 line-ups. There have been reports that Williams has shown interest in Drugovich, since the team has the last vacant seat on the 2024 F1 grid.
Hawkins meanwhile has been affiliated with Aston Martin since 2021 but did not having a driving-based role specificed until last year when she became a presence within the race team and was in a paddock-based position for several grands prix as well as doing F1-focused simulator work.
Although she has spent this year racing in the Britcar Prototype Cup, and was a race-winner in TCR UK in 2022, Hawkins also has extensive single-seater racing experience. She raced in British Formula 4 in 2015, and did all three seasons of the all-female Formula Regional-spec W Series. Last year she came ninth in the standings with one podium.
The Hungaroring test marked her first ever time driving an F1 car, and she completed 26 laps of the Hungaroring track.
“I want to say a big thank you to everyone at AMF1 Team for having the trust in me, believing in me, and for giving me this opportunity,” said Hawkins. “It’s taken me every bit of blood, sweat and tears to get here. When I first heard it might be a possibility, I could hardly believe it.
“I’ve had to keep it secret for months now – which was pretty hard! It’s been absolutely worth it and it’s given me really valuable insight. Nothing will compare to the acceleration and braking of a F1 car and, having looked at the data, I’m really proud of my performance.
“Getting to drive the AMR21 has been a dream come true for me and one I’ve been ready to fulfil for a long time. I’ll keep pushing for more and, in the process, I want to inspire other women and let them know they should follow their dream no matter what it is.”