Formula 1 returns to the track this week, with pre-season testing slated to kick off on Thursday at Bahrain International Circuit. All ten teams will put their new cars through the paces over three days, in a final attempt to get everything right before the season kicks off the following week with the Bahrain Grand Prix.
Aston Martin, however, will enter pre-season testing without one of their two top drivers.
The team announced on Monday morning that Lance Stroll suffered a minor training injury, and would not be able to participate in pre-season testing. In a statement, Stroll indicated that he suffered a bike injury while training, but expects to be back as quickly as possible:
“I’ve had an unfortunate accident whilst training on my bike in preparation for the season. I am determined to get back in the car and I am excited about the season ahead with the team. I am motivated to bounce back from this setback as quickly as possible.”
Veteran F1 driver and former world champion Fernando Alonso joined Aston Martin this offseason, after racing for Alpine a season ago.
Aston Martin has a pair of reserve drivers who can step into Stroll’s seat for pre-season testing. The team announced back in November that Stoffel Vandoorne, a former Formula E Champion, would join their roster as a reserve driver. Along with Vandoorne, the team can look to former Formula 2 Champion Felipe Drugovich, who joined Aston Martin’s development program last fall.
Update: Aston Martin confirmed on Tuesday that Drugovich will participate in testing on Thursday, sharing the duties with Alonso. Aston Martin’s schedule for Friday and Saturday has yet to be determined:
UPDATE: @FelipeDrugovich will attend the Bahrain test to share driving duties with Fernando Alonso. Felipe is scheduled to drive AMR23 on Thursday morning with Fernando taking over in the afternoon.— Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team (@AstonMartinF1) February 21, 2023
Schedule for Friday and Saturday to be confirmed. pic.twitter.com/RQK1sREbuo