Drugovich will make F1 debut in Bahrain if Stroll cannot return · RaceFans

Aston Martin has confirmed who will drive its car at the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix if the injured Lance Stroll is unable to complete.

Reserve drive Felipe Drugovich has been chosen as Stroll’s substitute for the race weekend.

“The team will continue to give Lance every chance to race, pending recovery from his injury,” Aston Martin announced on social media. “Should he not be fit to compete, then Felipe will drive the AMR23 alongside Fernando [Alonso].”

Stroll suffered hand injuries in a cycling accident in Spain last week. He was unable to take part in the three-day test at the Bahrain International Circuit which concluded yesterday.

Drugovich completed a day of running in the team’s new AMR23, split between a half-day on Thursday and another yesterday. Fernando Alonso covered the rest of the test for the team.

Drugovich won the Formula 2 championship and will make his grand prix debut if he stands in for Stroll. Aston Martin’s alternative options included fellow reserve driver Stoffel Vandoorne,but he was unavailable to test for the team last weekend as he was racing in Formula E.

Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack said yesterday that Drugovich’s opportunity to test for the team had improved his chances of being chosen as a stand-in. “I think it’s very, very important that you do your homework and you have also one of your reserve drivers that is available for this year to prepare for the case that it is necessary.”

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