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Aston Martin names F2 champion as first academy member

Aston Martin names F2 champion as first academy member

F1 News

Aston Martin names F2 champion as first academy member

Aston Martin names F2 champion as first academy member

Aston Martin has launched a new Driver Development Programme to help nurture new talent for F1.

The Silverstone-based team joined Ferrari, Mercedes, Red Bull, Alpine and Alfa Romeo in creating an academy for young drivers.

Newly-crowned F2 champion Felipe Drugivich will be the first driver to be signed to the programme, signing the contract on the same day he took the title at Monza.

The Brazilian collected five race victories en route to his title triumph over Frenchman Théo Pourchaire and as part of the programme, will become an Aston Martin reserve driver.

He is expected to take part in FP1 at the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix before completing test mileage at the post-season event at Yas Marina.

Drugovich will then undertake "an extensive test programme" with the 2021 AMR21, whilst also attending grands prix with the team.

Drugovich said: “Becoming a member of the Aston Martin Driver Development Programme is a fantastic opportunity for me – and only adds to what has been an extremely enjoyable and successful 2022 season.

"Winning in F2 has long been regarded as the best possible launchpad into a career in Formula 1, and I see my role at Aston Martin as giving me all the tools to take that crucial next step.

"For me, 2023 will be a learning curve: I will be working with the F1 team, but my primary goal is to learn and develop as a driver. I hope that will give me an opportunity to race in Formula 1 in the future.”

Team Principal Mike Krack added: “Felipe has shown incredible talent, determination, and consistency to win this year's F2 championship – I particularly remember his fantastic sprint and feature victories at Barcelona in May, which were hugely impressive.

"We are delighted that he is joining us as a member of our Driver Development Programme, and we look forward to welcoming him as part of our team in Abu Dhabi this November.”

Owner Lawrence Stroll has been on a quest to upgrade the team from where it took over Racing Point at the beginning of last season, investing heavily in a new factory.

But with a development programme high on the agenda for some time, Stroll explained: “I am hugely proud to have inaugurated the AMF1 Driver Development Programme: I am a big believer in rewarding young talent, and this is a fantastic way to help develop the next generation of racing drivers.

"We have watched and admired Felipe's path to success in F2 this year, and we aim to provide him with all the skills and experience necessary to be able to take the next step in his career.

"In the fullness of time, it would be the ultimate validation if he were to become a Formula 1 driver, joining the great pantheon of Brazilian racing drivers such as Emerson Fittipaldi and Ayrton Senna.”

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