We caught up with 2020 FIA Formula 2 rookie Felipe Drugovich via video chat to discuss last year and what he is hoping for with his new team UNI-Virtuosi in 2021.
The Brazilian driver pinpointed his Sprint race win during the first round in Spielberg as the moment his confidence grew, along with some new expectations.
Reflecting on his rookie season which saw him take three race wins and a pole position at Silverstone Drugovich looked back fondly on a season which saw his stock rise following a difficult 2019 season with Carlin in Formula 3.
“2020 was an amazing year for me arguably the best of my career, I wasn’t expecting to have three wins at the end of the season. Maybe the championship position isn’t so relevant for the number of victories we had as I was a little bit inconsistent but in general I was really happy with the season and I learnt a lot from it”.
Drugovich got the 2020 season off to a fantastic start to the season with second on the grid for the Feature race in Austria before taking his maiden win in the Sprint race a day later with the win changing Drugovich’s goals for the rest of the season.
“It really reshaped my expectations, especially on the back of a really horrible year in 2019. I struggled to find good results or speed in the car, whether that’s the car or me I am not sure, you lose a lot of confidence from that.”
“Coming out of the first Austria weekend with second in qualifying and a win in the Sprint was pretty special, it bumped up my confidence a lot, then I could push from that first weekend.”
The Brazilian commented that his third win of the season was the highlight of his rookie year in Formula 2. He took a dominating victory from second on the grid.
“If I had to pick a standout moment from this year it would be Bahrain race one as it was a perfect performance for me. I was really happy with my performance and the car.”
For this season Felipe will move to UNI-Virtuosi Racing replacing Callum Ilott, however, it was a decision that wasn’t taken lightly by the Brazilian.
“It was a pretty hard to leave. The decision was made before the Bahrain doubleheader, it was made even harder as MP had an awesome car at that point. But, I had a chance at to drive at Virtuosi. For me they have been the most consistent team throughout the season and have been fast everywhere. I think they can provide me with the right equipment to go well this season. For me I think I’ve made the right choice.”
Drugovich has already started his spell with Virtuosi with testing during the end of season sessions in Bahrain. He has already described the difference between the two teams.
“The atmosphere is similar between the teams as they have a family feel and work together nicely. The only difference is that MP had a lot of new people, that made some people at the start of the season not know what to do, although, it got better throughout the season. Virtuosi, however, have been doing this for years, everyone knows what to do and they are pushing really hard. I really like that they are solely focused on F2.”
In preparation for his second season of Formula 2 Drugovich has been training intensively in his native Brazil as he waits for restrictions to be eased in order to have a seat fitting at the Virtuosi factory.
“Physically, I am pushing very hard at the moment. I am training a lot with the simulator and go-karting, trying to keep the reflexes on point, also to keep that racing mentality, which is important.”
“Once I get back to Europe I will go to the team to do a seat fitting and meet with the engineers to get into the zone again.”
We look forward to seeing Felipe on track next year for his new team. UNI-Virtuosi have yet to confirm at this stage who his teammate will be. Let us know your thoughts on our chat and who you think will be his teammate next year via twitter @F2inside.
Myself and the team at InsideF2.com would like to thank Felipe for his time.
Image Credit: © Formula Motorsport Limited
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