This 22-year-old racer will fill in for Lance Stroll at Aston Martin

Lance Stroll has withdrawn from pre-season testing in Bahrain after picking up a cycling injury.

Aston Martin’s pre-season testing plans took a huge hit this week, as Lance Stroll has confirmed that he will miss all three days of Bahrain’s testing.

The Canadian driver has revealed that he has picked up a moderately severe injury while training on his bicycle and therefore will not be able to take part in any pre-season testing.

While the 24-year-old is expected to be fit for the 2023 season opener in Bahrain, Aston Martin will still need to find a substitute for Stroll to drive the AMR23 this weekend.

The most experienced driver affiliated with team is ex-F1 driver Stoffel Vandoorne, with the Belgian’s F1 experience making him very useful for a pre-season testing event.

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Unfortunately for Aston Martin, Vandoorne has committed to racing in the Formula E championship this season and will therefore not be able to take part in the team’s testing, as he will be in Cape Town to prepare for the upcoming Formula E race.

The only other candidate for Stroll’s position is Formula 2 champion Felipe Drugovic, who will also be serving as the team’s reserve and test driver this season.

It seems likely that Aston Martin will elect to put Drugovic in the AMR23 this weekend, as the Brazilian has recently shared on his Instagram that he is currently spending some time in the Aston Martin simulator.

This time in the simulator will ensure that Drugovic is sharp enough to take part in pre-season testing with Aston Martin.

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While the team are confident of having Stroll back with the team for the Bahrain Grand Prix, Drugovic will need to mentally and physically prepare himself to make his F1 debut, should Stroll not recover in time.

With Drugovic racing in Bahrain not being off the cards, allowing the Brazilian to get used to the AMR23 in testing would be a wise idea for Aston Martin.

The team have recently confirmed that both Vandoorne and Drugovic will have their reserve duties shared with McLaren, enabling the team from Woking to call on either driver, should Lando Norris or Oscar Piastri be unable to take part in a race weekend for whatever reason this season.