Felipe Drugovich has ‘no news’ regarding Williams, Aston Martin rumours

Michelle Foster
Felipe Drugovich sitting in his MP Motorsport F2 car. Hungary July 2022

Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich sitting in his MP Motorsport F2 car. Hungary July 2022

Although he has been linked to a race seat at Williams or a reserve role with Aston Martin, Felipe Drugovich says until it is down on paper “nothing is certain”.

Although Drugovich is leading the Formula 2 championship with MP Motorsport, the 22-year-old is by no means assured of a Formula 1 race seat.

Last season, Oscar Piastri won the feeder series only to find himself in a reserve role this year with Alpine, the Australian not the first driver, nor the last, to be blocked from a promotion due to Formula 1’s limited seats.

Drugovich, if he wins the title this season, is likely to find himself in a similar situation as the rules state the reigning Formula 2 champion is not permitted to remain in the series for the following season.

He has been linked to a race seat with Williams, the Grove team in the hunt for a replacement for the beleaguered Nicholas Latifi, while Aston Martin are also said to be interested but they can only offer him a reserve driver role.

Drugovich would not comment on either rumour.

“As long as nothing is submitted to me, nothing is certain,” he told the Dutch edition of Motorsport.com.

“My focus is 100 per cent on my work this season. I can’t say if the rumours are true, I don’t know anything about it.

“Even for us as drivers it’s complicated. I have to do my job as well as possible and then the people who help me will get a better idea of what is possible. They pass that on to me.

“At the moment I have no news.”

He added: “We’ve been in this together since the end of last year, with the aim of reaching F1.”

Pressed as to whether Formula 1 could have its first Brazilian regularly on the grid since Felipe Massa, the driver replied: “To be honest, I have no idea. The market changes every day, it’s hard to know.

“I won’t give a number because there’s no precision. Even I don’t know. But like I said, if I do well now, there is a possibility to get there either as a reserve driver or as a regular driver.”

Felipe Drugovich looks into the camera, celebrating with both fists clenched. Saudi Arabia, March 2022.

Felipe Drugovich risks joining Piastri on the reserve driver pile

One of the biggest, if not the biggest, problems facing motorsport’s junior drivers is the lack of opportunities in Formula 1. There are just 20 seats and at most a handful of those open up each year.

This season it was just one, Alfa Romeo signing Zhou Guanyu. The previous season there were three rookies on the grid, and the year before that just one.

With drivers racing longer than ever before, it has some pundits accusing the sport’s oldest drivers of blocking the pathway for the youngsters – but as Fernando Alonso, the sport’s oldest driver, pointed out “motorsport is all about the stopwatch. The key question is are you still fast enough?”

The other side of the equation is those wanting to step up into Formula 1 are becoming younger than ever before, with even teens wanting a spot on the grid.

While in yesteryear it was unusual, in the past decade the three youngest ever have made their debuts – Max Verstappen, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris. Next year there could be another teenager in Theo Pourchaire.

It is a simple case of the maths does not add up and for someone like Drugovich it most likely means a year as a reserve driver and if he is lucky a 2024 seat, or a move to another series like Callum Illot’s swap to IndyCar.

It is a bitter pill to swallow, especially when one considers the finances that have gone into getting a driver through into Formula 2. And then that is as far as it goes.

Formula 1 needs new teams, an 11th and even a 12th – that is the only way the next generation will get a fair shot.


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