Dutch racing driver Giedo van der Garde has suggested that Felipe Drugovich may jump ship from Aston Martin to Alfa Romeo, as he spoke of how difficult it is being a reserve driver.
Drugovich replaced Aston Martin driver Lance Stroll for the first practice session at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, getting some track time, but Van der Garde has stressed how ‘incredibly difficult’ it is to follow the team around for the season and rarely get a chance to show your skills.
Aston Martin currently has Lance Stroll, son of team owner Lawrence, and two-time world champion Fernando Alonso as its driver lineup, with both set to continue with the team next year. This means Drugovich is unlikely to take a step up with the team any time soon.
Speaking to ViaPlay, Van der Garde explained the rumours surrounding a potential move for Drugovich from Aston Martin to Alfa Romeo.
The latter's current driver team comprises Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas, but only Bottas has a contract that continues next year. Zhou still has a question mark over his F1 future, with the team yet to announce a contract extension.
He said: "There are of course stories that he might go to another team next year, and also become a race driver within Formula 1 [instead of test driver].
“He’s a guy who has real talent, who has also shown in Formula 2 how to become champion, how to win races.”
Speaking of the difficulty of being a reserve driver, Van der Garde added: “It's so incredibly difficult, that you spend the whole year actually sitting next [to the] track.
“Then getting in [the car] here, you have to follow the team's programme, you can't quite show what you can do. But one thing is for sure, the guy is really good, and I hope he gets the chance next year – maybe at Alfa Romeo."
Asked if Alfa Romeo have shown interest in Drugovich, he replied, “Yes.” Asked why that is, Van der Garde explained: "Well because obviously there's some money behind it, he’s a guy who's fast, Formula 2 champion, obviously has some feedback from the team he's in now, so would be a nice combination."
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