Felipe Drugovich has admitted it has been mentally tough to not race in a series this year after missing out on a 2023 Formula 1 seat.
Drugovich dominated the 2022 Formula 2 Championship and was signed by Aston Martin as the team’s reserve driver.
He took part in pre-season testing when Lance Stroll fractured his hands, wrist and foot in a cycling accident and was ready to drive at the Bahrain Grand Prix, if the Canadian wasn’t able to drive.
“It’s quite tough mentally,” Drugovich exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com. “I have raced since I was nine years old, every year.
“I’ve gone through Christmas and New Year just getting that feeling of, I’m going to start racing again but this year, not having that is a bit weird.
“I see other drivers that raced with me in F1 and wish I was there too, but I’m working towards that. So hopefully I’ll get a seat.”
Drugovich feels people misjudged him
Drugovich impressed in his debut F2 campaign in 2020, winning races for MP Motorsport, a team that have rarely featured at the front of the grid.
He joined Virtuosi the following year and didn’t shine as much, whilst teammate Zhou Guanyu finished third in the championship to earn an F1 seat.
But, 2022 saw the Brazilian wrap up the championship with one round to spare as he returned to MP Motorsport and gave them their first F2 title.
“In most of my years in any championship I’ve done well,” said Drugovich. “It’s just 2021 that I think people got a wrong judgement on me, so nothing really clicked last year.
“Last year, I wasn’t really expecting to win by that advantage but thought I would do well.”
Where is the next F1 2023 race?
The next F1 race is the 2023 Austrian Grand Prix which will be the second sprint weekend of the year, held at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg on June 30 to July 2.