Felipe Drugovich says Fernando Alonso is not a bad guy after working with him this year at Aston Martin.
Drugovich is Aston Martin‘s reserve driver and drove in Formula 1 pre-season testing when Lance Stroll underwent a minor operation for injuries to his wrists following a cycling accident.
Alonso joined Aston Martin from Alpine and has divided opinion over his demeanour with teams. His most controversial moment came at the 2015 Japanese Grand Prix when he called his Honda power unit a “GP2 engine”.
“He’s a really cool guy,” Drugovich exclusively told Total-Motorsport.com. “I really like him. He’s a great character and amazing.
“I just have such big respect for him, even more now. I see how hard he works even at 41 years old and pushing like he’s just 20 years old. So it’s impressive to see that.
“People talk about him being the bad guy and stuff like that but he’s really cool guy and is really nice with me.”
Drugovich: Senna is a God
Drugovich won the 2022 Formula 2 Championship with a round to spare and is hoping to secure a seat on the F1 grid in 2024.
This year marks the first time where the Brazilian, who took part in the Berlin Formula E test with Maserati, is not set to race competitively.
The 22-year-old didn’t see Ayrton Senna race but was still inspired by the three-time F1 world champion.
“Senna has been my hero my whole career,” said Drugovich. “In Brazil, Senna is like a God.
“I grew up watching his races and trying to study everything through books and YouTube and I think that really fascinated me to get into racing.
“The first Brazilian Championship karting championship that I won back in 2011, I started thinking maybe I can do something in motorsport. Before then it was a hobby.
“The more you keep going, the more you winning and and doing well, I think that intention of being a racing driver just grows and grows.”
Drugovich moved to Europe 10 years ago to progress his karting career at the age of 12.
Although he didn’t have immediate success, he impressed enough and went on to win multiple titles in junior categories.
“It was really difficult,” revealed Drugovich. “I moved to Italy in 2013. I kept studying studying Italian school, which was very difficult.
“I had to learn Italian and coping with all the racing in a completely new school, it was difficult, but I think it added a lot to me as a person as well. So I don’t regret it.
“I was lucky that my mum came to live with me but the rest of my family, my friends [leaving them] was tough.
“As a kid, I think you don’t really realise all that, you are just following your dream. As you get a bit older, then maybe you start thinking a little bit, but still, that’s the dream and you are just going towards it.”