F2 stands by rule barring champions from returning after Drugovich urges change

Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovich’s call for the series to allow title winners to remain in the category has fallen on deaf ears.

The 22-year-old won the series last weekend but despite landing a place on Aston Martin’s new junior driver programme he is thought unlikely to find a race seat for the 2023 Formula 1 season.

Drugovich will not be able to continue racing in F2 next year as the series’ regulations forbid past champions from returning within two years of taking the title. However he believes that rule should be waived for champions who are unable to find a seat in F1.

“In my opinion, either you’re a champion and cannot stay anymore and you have to be promoted to F1, or you can stay,” he said.

Drugovich compared the system to Moto GP’s two junior categories. “It’s kind of how it works in Moto 2 and Moto 3,” he said. “I think first of all what needs to change is whoever wins the championship needs to get a go in F1.”

However F2 CEO Bruno Michel is adamant the rule should not change. “I disagree with it,” he said. “I think it’s a pyramid and you have to have a system where at some point it has to be up or out.

“I wouldn’t like F2 or F3 to become professional championships because if you do that, that’s exactly what’s going to be the issue. You will have guys staying forever in the same championship, having a big advantage because they have a massive experience of it over the young drivers who are coming.

“Not only would it not be good for their careers, but it wouldn’t be good for the young drivers because they would be probably not shining [as much] because they would fight against people that honestly are probably not better than them but have much more experience, know the tracks, know the car, know the teams, know whatever.

“So for me, absolutely not, and I’ve always been very, very pushy for that. We did it from the very beginning of GP2 and GP3: The winner cannot stay and I think it’s a very important point to continue.”

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