Felipe Drugovich will continue as Aston Martin’s reserve and test driver in 2024 — as announced by the team itself this Thursday (2). The Brazilian, therefore, will not have a place as a Formula 1 starter next season.
Asked in the mixed zone in Interlagos — where pilots begin to arrive for the São Paulo Formula 1 GP events — which was attended by Sports Gazettethe 23-year-old athlete spoke about the team’s decision and valued the agreement.
SEE THE VIDEO
“An extra year… what changes is the way we deal with the team, I’ll be able to do things that were ‘frozen’. We’ll work on a lot of things and I’ll have more freedom to give my opinion on the car and what we can do. It gives me more security than anything. Relationship with the team has always been very good and that is the least likely thing to change”, he stated.
Recognizing that he is close to the line for the starting spot on the grid of the world’s main motorsport category, Drugovich revealed that he may compete in another competition parallel to Formula 1 in 2024.
“It doesn’t look like there will be any vacancies next year. The plan is to remain as a reserve. Logically, everyone knows that we were talking to other teams. I don’t think the team (Aston Martin) would hold me back if there was another vacancy, none would do that with a driver on the waiting list. But the plan is not to look for other teams, I have a future here”, added the Brazilian, who also confessed frustration — although denying any regrets about remaining at Aston Martin.
“The one who is most frustrated with this (lack of a starting spot) is me. It’s the right thing, it has to be. In a good way, I have to keep searching and doing everything I can. It’s the only thing I can do. The fan is inside me too. I have to stay calm, do as much as I can and prepare myself. If one day there is a vacancy, so the teams can see that I am prepared and can do the job well”, he concluded.
Thursday (2) is reserved for pilots to meet the press.
On-track activities for the São Paulo Formula 1 GP begin on Friday (3): at 11:30 am (Brasília time), the drivers go to the circuit for the first free practice session and, at 3 pm, they carry out the qualifying session. On Saturday (4), qualifying day for the sprint and the short race itself, at 11am and 3:30pm, respectively. Finally, on Sunday, the São Paulo GP takes place at 2pm.