Felipe Drugovich claimed the Formula 2 Championship in convincing fashion last season, a feat that typically results in an F1 contract. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, a variety of factors have prevented this from happening. Still, Drugovich appears determined to secure a place on the grid for 2024.
Having taken the F2 crown in his third season in the category, Drugovich’s performances last season were not deemed adequate to earn an F1 deal.
Logan Sargeant, for example, was signed by Williams despite finishing fourth. Significantly, Sargeant was not only a Williams junior but also a rookie – therefore amplifying the impressiveness of his performances.
Whilst the American is not perceived as a generational talent, his promotion adds important context to the Brazilian driver’s situation.
Simply put, unlike a talent such as Oscar Piastri, Drugovich was never seen as obviously Formula 1-calibre. Instead, a series of dominos must fall in his favour – which is often the case in motorsport.
Drugovich is understood to have recently turned down an IndyCar test invite from Ed Carpenter. Given the popularity and prestige of the American series, such a decision indicates Drugovich’s sights are still set on F1.
Speaking with the Sky Sports team in Italy (joining the commentary box after his FP1 run), he explained that options for 2024 are still being explored.
Let us, then, outline the situation in the driver market.
Alfa Romeo is the team Drugovich is most commonly linked with and remains one of three outfits without a confirmed driver line-up.
Zhou Guanyu currently occupies the Alfa Romeo seat. The Chinese driver was widely expected to sign a contract extension earlier this year.
However, the absence of a confirmed agreement means that speculation continues. This uncertainty is fuelled by the Audi factor, with the German manufacturer’s influence on Sauber pre-2026 still undefined.
Drugovich and Sauber junior Theo Pourchaire are regarded as the main contenders to join the outfit.
A lack of communication on this subject from Sauber/Alfa Romeo makes any discussion of their 2024 line-up something of a guessing game.
At least for now, Drugovich believes there is enough of a chance in F1 that he can decline opportunities elsewhere.
Author: Jaden Diaz-Ndisang