Is Felipe Drugovich leaving for Formula E in 2023? —

Former Formula E champion Lucas di Grassi says he is helping fellow Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich try to secure a place in the series next year.

Lucas di Grassi (pictured), who raced for Virgin in F1 in 2010, told FormulaNerds he was helping Felipe Drugovich try to secure a Formula E seat for 2023. (Image credit: @LucasdiGrassi on Twitter)

It would appear the Brazilian – who is now Formula E’s most experienced driver, having started all 100 races – would like another compatriot on the grid for 2023. FormulaNerds asked during a podcast if there was a certain pilot he would like to see on the show, Di Grassi said:

“I’m actually helping Felipe Drugovich see if he can find a place in Formula E.”

Drugovich has already sealed the Formula 2 title with one round to spare and was rewarded with a reserve driver role at Aston Martin.

He will still have plenty of free time to race in another series, however, according to Di Grassi:

“I know he will be reserve at Aston, but reserve drivers these days are basically drinking coffee because there is very little to do.

“Okay, you do two or three [Free Practice] Fridays all year round but there are not many tests to do.

“So it would be very good to see him, another Brazilian who is rising, who is very talented and who came with a very difficult background. You can see that he had very few sponsors in Formula 2, most of them. they were his family and friends, so I think he would be very good there.”

But is Drugovich open to Formula E?

After securing the F2 title at Monza, Drugovich sat down with a select group of journalists, including FormulaNerds. During the champion’s press conference, he was asked a number of questions about his future and what playoffs he might be looking at.

Hazel Southwell of RaceFans pointed out that the last F2 champion not attached to a drivers academy was Nyck de Vries. The Dutch driver won second place in 2019.

Nyck de Vries
Nyck de Vries scored points on his F1 debut, for Williams at the 2022 Italian Grand Prix at Monza. (Image credit: @WilliamsRacing on Twitter)

De Vries, who made his F1 debut the weekend Drugovich won the title, had to take an unconventional route for his first grand prix.

With a reserve role very likely resembling Drugovich for 2023, RaceFans asked if he would consider options in other categories, such as the WEC and Formula E, to go along with a backup role in F1.

“For sure. I think if you have a reserve role you have to keep driving. I think it [De Vries] did that – he was booked for a long time, but he also drove in Formula E,” replied the Brazilian.

“[Oscar] Piastri, for example, he was a reserve, but he also tested a lot, so you have to keep doing something because only the reserve role is not enough – and it’s just a disaster for the pilot if you have a reserve role and stay stopped.

“I think I would consider something like that. But yeah, first of all we have to put in place, first, the Formula 1 plan and then try to be there. [in F1] one day. And we can supplement that somehow, and yes, with some of these categories [Formula E or WEC].”

What are the other options?

Drugovich also confirmed to Speedcafe that if he was “to race anything other than F1 next year”, IndyCar is “definitely a category to consider”.

Speedcafe went on to ask if he preferred to combine the roles or just focus on backup duties. The 22-year-old completed questions about his future saying:

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“It depends a lot. There are lots of options. Even Oscar [Piastri]he didn’t just do [a] reserve role – he did a lot of testing, and that’s something that’s good – he was preparing… if I do this role [the reserve role]I really want to do something – whatever the category, or the tests, or whatever.

Drugovich’s backup role with Aston Martin was announced the next day. It is not known whether this contract was signed before the F2 championship was decided.

Felipe Drugovich during his seat adjustment with Aston Martin F1 Team ahead of his FP1 outing in Abu Dhabi later in the year. (Image credit: @AstonMartinF1 on Twitter)

By signing the deal, Drugovich becomes the first member of Aston Martin’s driver development program, and the role will include an “extended testing program”. according to the team.

Where could Drugovitch land?

It remains to be seen whether Aston Martin’s testing schedule will prevent the current MP Motorsport driver from competing elsewhere, or if Drugovich feels the number of tests is sufficient.

It’s important to remember that his champion press conference comments were made before the public confirmation of Aston Martin’s reserve and test role. It’s also unclear how active Drugovich has been in Di Grassi’s backyard for a Formula E seat for him.

However, if he pursues this route, where will he land? The new Maserati team might be the best bet.

De Vries is rumored to be one of their drivers next year, but the Dutchman is now looking for a place on the F1 grid, either with Williams or new contenders AlphaTauri.

Maserati has partnered with the Venturi team, where Di Grassi spent his 2021-22 season. He would therefore certainly have the connections required to offer his compatriot as an alternative.

Featured image credit: @FelipeDrugovich on Twitter.

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