Jack Doohan on his chance at making F1 with Alpine: ‘I know it’s there’

Jack Doohan is highly touted as the possible solution to Alpine’s empty seat in F1. The 19-year-old Australian scored his third pole position of the season on Friday at the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza. F1 Feeder Series spoke to Doohan afterwards about the implications of his recent strong performances in connection to the Alpine situation.

By Tyler Foster

Despite not having anywhere near a perfect season, Doohan has repeatedly shown that he is one of the quickest on this year’s F2 grid. Following a slew of strong recent results, including a maiden Feature Race win in Spa, he has risen from the midfield all the way up to fourth in the standings. Prior to the Sprint Race, Doohan was just seven points behind Carlin’s Logan Sargeant in P3.

Unlike Carlin, who have two competitive drivers, Doohan’s Virtuosi team have been heavily reliant upon him to score for them in the championship. The Alpine Academy driver has been responsible for over 95% of Virtuosi’s F2 points in 2022. Considering the recent fiasco involving Alpine’s driver situation, we asked Doohan if there was a better time to perform in his career.

At the end of the year we’ll see what happens but I’m loving Formula 2 at the moment

Jack Doohan remaining focussed on the present

“Good time to perform? All the time is a good time to perform. Regardless of what’s going on, I think if you’re at the pointy end it gets noticed. There’s obviously a lot that’s going on and I’m trying not to get too involved, to be honest, I’m trying to stay focused on what I can control and that’s my car, my team and outside of that is to be honest not a worry at the moment. And we’re just trying to put in good results and good performances and show what we can do. At the end of the day, at the end of the year we’ll see what happens but I’m loving Formula 2 at the moment.”

Realistic prospects

With the knowledge that Alpine have been unsuccessful in their attempt to lure Pierre Gasly away from the Red Bull programme, Jack Doohan is now in the envious position of being considered a major contender for the second seat alongside Esteban Ocon. His recent results have only helped his chances, but we asked Doohan whether he had felt any pressure to perform.

“To be honest, I’m happy with it because there’s obviously talk and obviously I want to do well for sure. I’m trying and I know it’s there, so for me it’s motivation to work harder. I need to show my maturity, I need to show my head and I need to show that I’m capable of putting myself together if it’s not P1, it’s taking P4 when the car can take P4. I’m not really under any pressure so I can just enjoy what I’m doing and I love this. Being able to extract my potential and really enjoy this moment and this time, its I think helping me.”

The only regret for Doohan this year may be the missed opportunities earlier in the year. Otherwise, it is important to remember that he is still only 19-years-old and a rookie this season in F2. Finally, we asked Doohan how he felt his first campaign in the series had gone.

“I’ve worked a lot this season. It’s been tremendously up and down, and it’s not been the easiest. I definitely know how to approach the Feature Race and all things going well I think we should have a good Sunday. So, I’m looking forward to that and happy to get another pole. The last few weekends have obviously been going well. We’ve been getting back on form with qualifying, getting back to being aggressive and also our racecar has been very strong. So just been taking good steps forward and really putting on paper the pace and speed that we’ve all year. I’m happy for myself, I’m happy for the team and hopefully we can keep it going.”

Header photo credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd

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