Brazilians have all the time featured on the entrance of F1.
Emerson Fittipaldi, Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna are all a number of world champions, whereas Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa recurrently competed for grand prix victories throughout their respective F1 careers.
The expertise pool for Brazil has dried up lately with there being no Brazilian on the grid since 2018.
One driver who might be trying to finish Brazil’s anticipate a local driver is reigning F2 champion Felipe Drugovich.
Drugovich stormed to the F2 title with relative ease in 2022, incomes himself a growth driver position with Aston Martin.
He was Aston Martin’s first signing to their driver academy and can make his F1 debut throughout first apply on the season-ending Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Who’s Felipe Drugovich?
Born in Maringá, Brazil, Drugovich spent his early years karting in quite a lot of Brazilian championships, taking his first title in 2011.
He then made his single-seater debut in 2016 after a profitable karting profession.
Drugovich emerged as a critical expertise one yr later, ending third in ADAC Method 4, lacking out on the title to Juri Vips by simply 9 factors.
He then received the Euroformula Open Championship in 2018 earlier than making the step as much as F3.
Early promotion to F2
Regardless of a tough rookie season in F3 with Carlin, scoring simply eight factors, Drugovich was promoted to F2 with MP Motorsport in 2020.
Three victories and 4 podiums put Drugovich ninth total within the standings – a outstanding enchancment on his first yr in F3.
His transfer to UNI-Virtuosi Racing – on paper at the least – regarded the fitting one, however Drugovich struggled comparatively to his maiden season, failing to register a single victory.
Title win with MP Motorsport
Drugovich returned to MP Motorsport and was instantly again on the tempo.
He needed to wait till Jeddah to take his first function race victory of the yr and adopted it up with 4 extra wins.
Drugovich’s consistency pulled him away from the remainder of the sector, securing the title with one spherical to go at Monza.
Reflecting on his title triumph, he informed F2’s official web site: “After 2020, everybody’s anticipated huge issues for 2021. Issues did not actually occur and for a second, I believed, okay, it is gone, my F1 dream is form of gone.
“After the Barcelona weekend, I believed that it could be my yr however going into that weekend, we knew we had been actually fast there as a result of we examined there, and I used to be P1 in testing. From then, I used to be anticipating nothing lower than pole place. In Qualifying, I had a problem with the brakes on the primary run and principally did not do a second lap. And it was so painful to know that our greatest alternative was principally gone.
“Then I bought a penalty so as a substitute of beginning first within the Dash Race, I began fourth. I used to be like ‘okay, that is tousled.’ However, I simply went for it. No compromises and it panned out brilliantly. So after that win I actually thought okay, this may be our yr if we simply put it collectively.”
His F1 probabilities
Regardless of an unbelievable F2 title-winning marketing campaign, Drugovich was by no means within the body for any of the vacant seats on the F1 2023 grid.
Much more perplexing, he by no means had any official F1 affiliation by way of an academy or junior crew till after his title victory with Aston Martin.
A weaker F2 grid mixed with a restricted quantity of seats being accessible didn’t work in Drugovich’s favour.
His position with Aston Martin ought to give him an opportunity to impress, though securing a full-time drive with the crew appears to be like extremely unlikely sooner or later.