Felipe Drugovich chosen as Lance Stroll’s initial stand-in for Bahrain pre-season test

Jamie Woodhouse
Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin. Sao Paulo, November 2022.

Aston Martin's Felipe Drugovich in the paddock. Sao Paulo, November 2022.

With Lance Stroll unable to take part in the F1 2023 Bahrain pre-season test, Aston Martin reserve Felipe Drugovich will step in initially.

Stroll’s pre-season preparations have come across an unwelcome interruption after it was confirmed that he suffered “minor injuries” in a cycling accident while training in Spain, which will rule him out of the three-day Bahrain test in its entirety.

“I’ve had an unfortunate accident whilst training on my bike in preparation for the season,” said Stroll as he explained the incident.

“I am determined to get back in the car and I am excited about the season ahead with the team. I am motivated to bounce back from this setback as quickly as possible.”

Initially it was not clear whether Stroll’s new Aston Martin team-mate Fernando Alonso would cover the entire schedule himself, but Aston Martin has now confirmed to PlanetF1.com that this will not be the case.

Instead, reigning Formula 2 champion Drugovich, who joined the Aston Martin fold late last year, will share driving duties with Alonso on the opening day, handing the AMR23 over to the two-time World Champion for the afternoon session after he kicks-off proceedings in the morning.

“Felipe Drugovich will attend the Bahrain test to share driving duties with Fernando Alonso,” the team stated. “Felipe is scheduled to drive the AMR23 on Thursday morning with Fernando taking over in the afternoon.

“The schedule for Friday and Saturday is to be confirmed.”

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Aston Martin do have another reserve in their ranks, that being former McLaren driver Stoffel Vandoorne, though it is very unlikely that he would partake in the Bahrain test, held from February 23-25, as that would clash with the Formula E Cape Town ePrix, where Vandoorne is competing with his DS Penske team.