New Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich completed his first test in a Formula 1 car last week at Silverstone in Aston Martin’s 2021 machine.
Drugovich was signed to Aston Martin’s new F1 driver development programme shortly after winning the F2 title in September, and he also became one of the team’s reserve divers.
Aston Martin’s plan was to have Drugovich compete in the first practice session at Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, but to do so he needed to pick up test mileage in an F1 car beforehand to gain a free practice-only superlicence. He drove more than 300 kilometres at Silverstone in the Aston Martin AMR21.
“It is amazing to have my first experience of a F1 car,” Drugovich said. “I learned a huge amount and we did all the necessary work and mileage to be ready for Abu Dhabi.
“The weather was a bit tricky, but we did quite a few laps on the dry tyres before running on the wet tyres at the end of the day. The performance of the car was so impressive: the smoothness of the gearshifts, for example, and the lateral grip means you can carry so much speed into the corners.
“I really enjoyed the day; it was my first chance to start working properly with the team at the track. Big thanks to everybody who made it possible.”
Following his F1 practice debut on November 18 at Yas Marina Circuit, where he will take over Lance Stroll’s car, Drugovich will then drive for Aston Martin at the track again four days later in the official post-season test there.
Mike Krack, Aston Martin’s team principal, commented: “Felipe did an excellent job during his Silverstone test session. He quickly adapted to the car and the changing conditions, and was on the pace after just a handful of laps.
“It is always exciting to see a young driver complete their first laps in a F1 car and Felipe really made the most of the opportunity.
“He is an intelligent driver, worked well with the engineering team, and impressed us with his professionalism, performance and feedback.”