In the round-up: Aston Martin call on Felipe Drugovich to drive Lance Stroll’s car in practice for the Italian Grand Prix.
Drugovich to drive at Monza for Aston Martin
Aston Martin will become the latest team to tick the box for running a junior driver in a practice session this season when Drugovich takes over Stroll’s car on Friday morning at Monza.
“The car felt great when I drove it in pre-season testing and it will be fascinating to feel how it has improved since then,” said reigning Formula 2 champion Drugovich. “I’ve spent a lot of time in the simulator helping to develop the car. It’s also a fantastic opportunity for me to demonstrate what I’ve learnt through my testing programme. Since Bahrain, I’ve done many more miles in an Formula 1 car.”
Aside from the three teams that signed rookies for 2023, Ferrari are the only team so far that have called upon a driver with less than three F1 starts to their name (as is required by the rules) to specifically contest a practice session.
Stroll feels let down by Dutch GP strategy
“Not fun. Strategy wasn’t right for us,” was Stroll’s quick description of the Dutch Grand Prix, after starting and finishing 11th.
“We thought maybe it’s going to stop raining and it would mean stay out [on] slicks is the right thing to do. But then when I saw everyone pitted after the first two laps I knew at that point it would have been a big disadvantage to pit, once everyone passed us on intermediates. So we were just trying to stay out. But we lost like a minute at the beginning of the race, just trying to stay out on slicks when it kept raining.”
Stroll made his first stop on lap four, after 14 drivers had pitted, and he dropped to 19th. He spent a third of the race there, and only six laps from the end did he return to 11th. Staying on slicks late on rather than switching to intermediate compound tyres while it was raining, for a second time, “was the worst thing to do” but Aston Martin repeated the error as they awaited heavier rain to switch to full wet tyres.
“Definitely a lot of wrong decisions were made today,” summarised Stroll.
Campos makes a line-up change for FIA F3 finale
Campos Racing has announced Hugh Barter will miss this weekend’s final FIA Formula 3 round at Monza, with Joshua Dufek taking his place.
Dufek steps up from Formula Regional, where he has claimed podiums in the European and Middle East championships over the last two years. He is currently ninth in the European standings. No reason has been given for why Barter, who is 18th in the F3 standings, will miss Monza.
“I’m extremely thrilled and thankful to both Campos Racing and Peak Performance Management to have been given this opportunity and can’t wait to work closely with the new team to learn as much as I can,” said Dufek. “As I’ve only competed in FREC up until now, it’ll be a bit of a jump into cold water but after a long summer break, I really couldn’t be more excited to hit the track and it’ll be nice to experience some more speed and power from the F3 machine.”
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On this day in motorsport
- 25 years ago today Damon Hill scored his final F1 win by giving Jordan (now Aston Martin) their first grand prix victory, at Spa
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