After joining the Formula 2 championship in 2020, Felipe Drugovich is ideally placed to impose himself in the antechamber of Formula 1 this season as he is 43 points ahead of his closest pursuer, Théo Pourchaire. A possible coronation would push the Brazilian driver towards the exit, the F2 champions not being able to claim another title, nevertheless the 40 Super License points offered will allow him to turn to the premier category.
But Formula 1 remains a particularly difficult step for Drugovich to take. Given the limited number of places available on the 2023 grid, the MP Motorsport driver now expects to run for a test driver position.
« I don’t know yet what I will drive next year »he explains. « It could do like with Nyck [de Vries]I think getting into F1 today is very, very difficult and the opportunities for a starting driver next year are obviously very limited. »
« I think there is still [la possibilité d’avoir] a reservist position somewhere, so we have to try to take a closer look and maybe find a seat somewhere. […] To talk about F1, to be honest we try to contact all the teams we can and see what they say. It’s heading more towards a reserve spot, I don’t know, we have to see, but we have to keep looking into it and in the meantime, we have to sign some results and that’s something that could help me get a flying. »
Felipe Drugovich has picked up four wins this season in F2.
In 2019, Nyck de Vries had won the F2 championship without being affiliated with an F1 team, which had complicated his job search in the premier category. Eventually, the Dutchman made his way to Formula E.
Drugovich is in a similar situation today, since he is not part of any young pilot program. Conversely, Pourchaire, second in the standings, is incubated by Sauber and Logan Sargeant, Jack Doohan and Liam Lawson, who complete the top 5, are respectively members of the Williams, Alpine and Red Bull academies.
Although this lack of ties to an F1 team could be seen as a disadvantage, Drugovich believes it gives him greater freedom: « I think that helps me. In most teams where there is maybe a place available, reserve or starter, they don’t have junior drivers. So I think being in that position is actually good enough for me Obviously there’s also the downside of not being fully supported in getting a steering wheel because I’m not tied [à une équipe] but, on the other hand, I’m completely free, so I think that’s a good thing. »
Other disciplines, such as Formula E, IndyCar or Endurance, would be good alternatives if the doors of F1 were to close in front of Drugovich. However, the Brazilian does not prefer to be interested in it for the moment.
« There are other categories we can race in but, for now, my focus is on this championship. [de F2]I’m trying to win it and I hope that this result can allow me to access F1 one day »he continues. « We don’t care much about IndyCar, we just try to stay focused on F1. It’s my dream, my goal, and we’re trying to get there first and foremost. Obviously IndyCar is a big discipline. but, at the moment, I am fully focused on F1. »
With Megan White