Felipe Drugovich finally made it to the top of the Formula 2 mountain in 2022, winning the Championship in convincing fashion. But according to the man himself, there were multiple points along the way where he thought his Formula 1 dreams were over.
His career has been a case of patience, pace and opportunity, making each of his chances count when he needed to the most. The MP Motorsport driver sat down to reflect on the biggest points in his career that led him to the F2 crown.
Winning the Brazilian Karting Championship
“The first one we can remember is probably when I won the Brazilian karting championship back in 2011. That's really when I actually thought it was possible to do something in motorsport, before that it was kind of a hobby until then. It was going really well and then to win, that started to make me believe.
“The win came in 2011, I’d started back in 2009 and I think it was going pretty well until then. When you're a kid you don’t really know if that’s what you want to do. Obviously I was loving what I was doing you’re just too young, you don't actually think about it as something you do for a living. And from that point, I won the championship and was like okay, maybe this is really what I want to do with my life because it wasn't just the result, it was the feeling of winning. That really pushed me forward.”
Year Two in Formula 4
“My second year in F4 when I won a lot of races, it gave me a lot of confidence. 2017 was a great year and I think it opened up a lot of doors for me.
“The first year, I was supposed to do karting that season and then at the last moment we chose to do F4, so I went into the championship with no preparation whatsoever. If I’d stayed in karting, I might have been a little bit late to move to cars, so I decided to just move on, make this year a learning year. I did just a few tests before start and I think it was the right choice. We weren't in a top team, I was just trying to get to learn everything. As soon as I moved up from that I was already on top of it, so I was really pleased. We won seven races that year so it was quite good.”
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Winning the Formula 2 Championship
“Winning F2, that's the biggest one. It’s really helped me and opened a lot of doors for me. Growing up as a kid, you always dream about being in Formula 1 and now I can only say I did everything that I could to be there. Hopefully now it’s just a matter of time and consequence of what I’ve done to one day be there racing.
“After 2020, everyone's expected big things for 2021. Things didn't really happen and for a moment, I thought, okay, it's gone, my F1 dream is kind of gone. And then at last moment we got this proposal by MP for a third year. I'm really thankful for them to come up to me with this opportunity. I think we just worked really well, managed to develop a lot as a team in such a short amount of time. It was basically just two tests, brought my experience and now we've grown a lot.
“It feels like the most comfortable team I've ever been part of because it just feels like home to me. It's such a pleasure to be with and work with them, There's a lot of Italian people in the team which, because I live in Italy, it's nice to go to their place sometimes, meet up with them so it's a very nice environment.
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“After the Barcelona weekend, I thought that it might be my year but going into that weekend, we knew we were really quick there because we tested there, and I was P1 in testing. From then, I was expecting nothing less than pole position. In Qualifying, I had an issue with the brakes on the first run and basically didn't do a second lap. And it was so painful to know that our best opportunity was basically gone. Then I got a penalty so instead of starting first in the Sprint Race, I started fourth. I was like ‘okay, this is messed up.’ But, I just went for it. No compromises and it panned out brilliantly. So after that win I really thought okay, this can be our year if we just put it together.”