In the round-up: Aston Martin team principal Mike Krack says drivers like the team’s reserve Felipe Drugovich will have to be patient for their chance to race in Formula 1.
F2 champion Drugovich must “be patient” with F1 dream
Reigning Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich is spending this year as Aston Martin’s reserve driver in Formula 1, and has already been passed over for a race seat at the team for 2024.
Only three of the last 11 champions of F2 and its predecessor GP2 went into full-time F1 seats the following year. Drugovich may now be facing two years on the sidelines having also missed out on a move to Formula E with Maserati who he had tested for.
Krack said the challenges young drivers facing breaking into F1 is a “difficult topic” for the sport. “Even if you don’t make this step immediately, or even the year or the year after, I think there is always some constraints where there’s regulation changes, teams wants consistency with their drivers.
“Whereas in the junior categories you move up every year, or every second year, in F1 people stay for long so it’s natural that you don’t have so many places. I think at the end of the day, people like Felipe or now the next champion or the previous one, they need to be patient, and they need to try and keep themselves in the game as much as possible.”
Drugovich is set to drive for the team in at least one practice session later this year, having made his F1 race weekend debut in practice at the Italian Grand Prix.
F2 racer Jehan Daruvala gets Maserati FE seat
The Maserati and Mahindra Formula E teams have done the equivalent of a driver swap for 2024, with Edoardo Mortara leaving Maserati after six years to race for Mahindra while the latter’s reserve driver Jehan Daruvala has left them to land a race seat with Maserati.
Daruvala is in his fourth season racing in Formula 2 and is currently 12th in the standings with three podiums. The former Red Bull junior came seventh in the championship the last two years, and has four race wins to his name.
He has Formula 1 test experience with McLaren, and after becoming Mahindra’s reserve driver at the start of 2023 he got to participate in FE’s Berlin rookie test and rookie practice session at the Rome EPrix.
New Aston Martin supercar inspired by F1
The consulting arm of Aston Martin’s Formula 1 team is working with the manufacturer’s road car division to develop the mid-engined Valhalla supercar.
It will have a fully active aerodynamic system – currently prohibited in F1, though under consideration for introduction in 2026 – including multi-element front and rear wings. The front wing “can lie flat in a DRS position to reduce drag or can be angled up to generate huge downforce directly ahead of the front wheels”, and a ground effect design technique is used in its under-floor surface.
“Inspired by F1 vortex generators and aero features, small slotted louvers on the sill, just ahead of the rear wheel, act as mini diffusers to pull airflow out and upwards from under the car, increasing downforce,” Aston Martin explained in an announcement. “A roof-mounted snorkel feeds both the engine intake, as it does in F1, but also serves to feed cooling ducts for turbo intercoolers and to cool the engine’s Hot-V turbo configuration.
“The Valhalla is powered by a twin-turbo V8 engine, which Aston Martin call “the most advanced, responsive and highest-performing V8 engine ever fitted to an Aston Martin and, when mated with three e-motors, creates a 1,012ps all-wheel drive hybrid powertrain”.
The Valhalla has twin electric motors on its front axle for four-wheel-drive and allow gives torque control at all four corners. A third electric motor provides additional power to the rear axle and serves as the starter for the conventional engine.
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