Felipe Drugovich replaces Lance Stroll for Italian GP

Felipe Drugovich will stand in for FP1 at Monza as Aston Martin adhere to their driver development obligations

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Felipe Drugovich will replace Lance Stroll for the first practice session at the Italian Grand Prix as Aston Martin oblige their mandatory young driver commitment.

Aston Martin will allow their reserve and test driver, Drugovich to step into the AMR23 once again after he earlier replaced Stroll in pre-season testing when the Canadian was injured, following a bicycle crash.

Formula 1 regulations require that at least two practice sessions should be given to a developing driver as part of enhancing opportunities for future talent, one for each driver.

Drugovich returns to the circuit where he claimed his Formula 2 title jin 2022, winning the championship by 101 points from Theo Pourchaire, winning five races in the process.

“It’s also a fantastic opportunity for me to demonstrate what I’ve learnt through my testing programme,” Drugovich said in a press release. “Since Bahrain, I’ve done many more miles in an F1 car so I have an even better understanding of how I can deliver valuable feedback for the team.

“I’d like to thank Aston Martin for trusting me with this opportunity, as well as our Brazilian partners XP, Porto Seguro and Banco Master for their continued support.”

Drugovich has been part of a training programme with the British team that has seen the F2 champion test the AMR21 at a series of European circuits such as Silverstone and the Red Bull Ring.

With Stroll having to miss pre-season testing, Drugovich stood in and racked up 177 laps in Bahrain and covered a distance of 630km.

“We are delighted to be able to provide Felipe with another opportunity to drive the AMR23,” team principal Mike Krack said. “He demonstrated his capabilities in pre-season testing, with a vital contribution to the team’s initial development of the car.

“Monza will offer another chance for Felipe to work closely with the engineers and mechanics and build his confidence in a critical session for the team. We look forward to maximising this session together.”

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