Aston Martin has confirmed that Felipe Drugovich will be handed his Formula 1 in Bahrain debut if Lance Stroll isn’t declared fit to compete.
Stroll skipped pre-season testing this week after being involved in a biking accident in Spain.
The extent of his injuries isn’t publicly known, however it is understood that the Canadian driver has injured his wrists.
Fernando Alonso, who has joined Aston Martin for the upcoming campaign, says that the team was hurt by Stroll’s absence at testing.
Drugovich took part in pre-season testing in place of Stroll, tallying 117 laps during the event.
Aston Martin has now declared that it will be Drugovich inside the car next weekend for the season-opening race at the Bahrain International Circuit if Stroll is unable to race.
“The team will continue to give Lance every chance to race, pending recovery from his injury,” it said. “Should he not be fit to compete, then Felipe will drive the AMR23 alongside Fernando.”
Aston Martin also had the possibility to call up ex-F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne, who is holding reserve driver duties with the team alongside his full-time Formula E seat this year.
Team boss Mike Krack outlined on Saturday that having Stroll in the car was its Plan A, but asserted that it had options elsewhere.
Drugovich drove the opening session of pre-season testing on Thursday, before he had another half-day inside the car on Saturday.
“We have a situation that isn’t 100 per cent clear,” Krack said.
“From that point of view you do your homework and you also have one of your reserve drivers that is available, that is here, to prepare him for the case that it is necessary.”
Last year, Aston Martin was forced to call in a sub for the opening round after Sebastian Vettel tested positive for Covid-19.
Nico Hulkenberg stepped in for his German compatriot, with the 35-year-old going on to sign for Haas for the 2023 campaign.
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