Both Jack Doohan and his Virtuosi Racing team have had a tough start to their Formula 2 campaign. Despite qualifying in the top three within all three rounds so far, Doohan has only collected six points from two race finishes. F1 Feeder Series spoke to Doohan along with other selected media about their disappointment thus far and whether Virtuosi are genuinely quick.
By Tyler Foster
Pole position in the first weekend of your first full-time season in Formula 2. That’s what Jack Doohan accomplished in Bahrain in Round 1 of this year’s championship. Very impressive, especially when you consider the quality of returning drivers on the grid.
Despite this, Doohan only scored a single point from Bahrain, after a collision with Theo Pourchaire in the Feature Race forced a second pit-stop. This became a bit of a reoccurrence for the Aussie, with another strong performance in qualifying in Jeddah with P3. However, this was stripped from him following a failure to provide a large enough fuel sample. Subsequently, he only scored two points after showing excellent pace from the back of the grid.
Finally, in Imola, Doohan once again performed exceptionally in qualifying with another P3. No points were scored though at the historic circuit for the Australian, with another incident at the start of the Feature Race forcing him to retire.
Speaking to Doohan about his qualifying, he was still very proud about his impressive record with his new F2 team, despite his inability to capitalise on it in the race.
“Obviously with Virtuosi this season, we’ve qualified in the top three in all three qualifying’s, including my last round at the end of last year. The last four rounds have been in the top three and the qualifying performance definitely isn’t a place that we need to focus on. Qualifying is very important but the points are scored in the races.”
It seems that while Doohan has the pace in qualifying to challenge for the Driver’s Title, he has not yet shown the racecraft needed at this level to be capable of scoring consistently. He spoke on the frustrations he has suffered from this year, with his failure to convert solid grid positions into points in the race.
“It’s been difficult. We had the pace in Bahrain but I made a mistake which was on me. Then the disqualification [in qualifying] in Jeddah was difficult, but then on Sunday’s race in the Feature Race, we were the quickest on track. I think the race pace can be there.”
“In Imola, we struggled a little bit in the Sprint Race but for sure that was something we knew for Sunday.”
With the news that the French Grand Prix will be used as a replacement weekend in the F2 calendar for the cancelled Russian GP, Le Castellet returns to the series for the first time since 2019 (where the late Antoine Hubert won his final event in the Sprint Race). With the track being visited in the lower junior formulas, it certainly isn’t a layout that drivers will be unfamiliar with.
“I’m thankful that there’s an extra round that’s been put back on the calendar to give me more opportunity. Fresh start in Barcelona and eleven rounds to go, and hopefully we can get there soon.”
Doohan currently sits in a lowly seventeenth in the Driver’s Standings, while his Virtuosi team are last in the Teams’ Standings with just seven points. The pace of their car would suggest that it shouldn’t be long before they propel themselves onward and upwards. In Barcelona this weekend, a lot is at stake with such a long time left to go in the championship.
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