Felipe Drugovich: “I have really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the AMR23”

Felipe Drugovich says there is a positive feeling within the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team heading into the first race of the 2023 FIA Formula 1 World Championship season after a good three days of testing at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Brazilian was drafted in at the last minute to drive in place of Lance Stroll, who was injured just prior to the test in a cycling accident, and he was given time behind the wheel of the AMR23 on days one and three.

Drugovich, the 2022 FIA Formula 2 champion, revealed that the feedback he was giving was very similar to that was being said by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Fernando Alonso, and overall, it was an enjoyable test for the young Brazilian.

“I have really enjoyed my time behind the wheel of the AMR23 and I think we have made good progress across the three days of running,” said Drugovich.  

“It was great to get back in the car this morning and I am pleased with the set-up changes that have been made since my first day in the car; the team have done a really good job implementing the feedback Fernando and I have given.

“It has been a valuable experience to compare my own observations with those of a two-time World Champion. In general, our comments are similar and I think we have worked well together to help the team maximise our three days of pre-season testing.”

Drugovich believes the AMR23 is a step forward from what Aston Martin delivered in 2022, but he knows every team on the grid will have made improvements so it is difficult to predict where the Silverstone team will fit in to the pecking order come the Bahrain Grand Prix.

“The car feels like a step forward from last year, but we need to remember that all teams will have developed over the winter and so we will continue working hard to maintain this momentum,” he said.

“We are feeling positive, although we will not have a true indication of our relative pace until qualifying next Saturday.”

Drugovich remains on standby to step into the Aston Martin again for his debut race should Stroll not recover in time for the Bahrain Grand Prix, with the team already confirming it would be the Brazilian who would step in should the Canadian fail to overcome his injuries.