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McLaren adds Aston Martin's Vandoorne, Drugovich to 2023 F1 reserve driver pool

McLaren has announced it has added Aston Martin Formula 1 reserves Stoffel Vandoorne and Felipe Drugovich to its pool of 2023 reserve drivers.

Felipe Drugovich, Aston Martin AMR22

McLaren and Aston Martin, who share engine partner Mercedes, have agreed to a deal where reigning Formula E champion Vandoorne and 2022 Formula 2 champion Drugovich will be made available to the Woking team in case it needs a replacement for regular drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri.

The deal covers the majority of the 2023 F1 season from the early March start in Bahrain until round 15, the Italian Grand Prix on the first weekend of September.

Vandoorne and Drugovich join a pool that also includes Mercedes' reserve driver Mick Schumacher, who has joined the Brackley team as a third driver after losing his Haas seat to Nico Hulkenberg.

"AMF1 has agreed that McLaren will have access to our reserve drivers, Felipe Drugovich and Stoffel Vandoorne, in the instance that they are required for driving duties for the first 15 races of 2023," Aston Martin announced on social media, with McLaren posting a similarly worded statement.

McLaren will be able to have access to the three drivers depending on their regular duties.

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, leans on a counter

Stoffel Vandoorne, DS Penske, leans on a counter

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Vandoorne, who now races for DS Penske in FE after winning last year's title with Mercedes, will be prioritising his Formula E commitments, while Schumacher and Drugovich don't have a regular race seat for 2023.

A former McLaren protege, Vandoorne raced for the team in F1 in the 2017 and 2018 seasons. After two difficult years alongside Fernando Alonso, at the nadir of the catastrophic McLaren and Honda partnership, the Belgian was cast aside in favour of Lando Norris.

He was then picked up by Mercedes to act as its reserve driver and spearhead its fledgling FE programme, leaving the role as the Silver Arrows quit the electric series off the back of two consecutive drivers' championships.

Drugovich landed the Aston Martin reserve seat after failing to secure a full-time F1 seat following his F2 title success.

He won the 2022 championship in his third year in the series, collecting five wins and four poles along the way.

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