Doohan F1 focused despite Alpine options
By Mat Coch
Friday 18th March, 2022 - 11:29am
Jack Doohan remains firmly fixated on reaching Formula 1 despite the potential for a berth in the World Endurance Championship.
Doohan joined the Alpine Academy this year after switching from the Red Bull development programme.
It comes as the Australian steps up to the FIA Formula 2 Championship following two years in Formula 3, where he finished runner-up last season.
Oscar Piastri won the F2 title in 2021 but has this year moved up to work as the Alpine F1 team’s reserve driver.
Meanwhile fellow ex-Alpine Academy member Zhou Guanyu has joined Alfa Romeo, creating something of a vacuum at the top of the French marque’s young driver programme.
It leaves Doohan towards the top of the list for the Enstone operation where at Red Bull he’d been in line behind the likes of Juri Vips, Liam Lawson, Jehan Daruvala, and Dennis Hauger.
While Alpine sports a team in Formula 1, it has also announced plans to campaign in the World Endurance Championship.
That could open doors for Doohan, should he wish to head down that path.
“That wasn’t why I joined the academy,” the 19-year-old told Speedcafe.com.
“For me, 100 percent, 110 percent my focus is on Formula 1. That’s where my visions are.
“There’s definitely the possibility that when things, either wrong timing or things don’t go to plan, it’s a really good opportunity that I could slide into or could get the feel with and see how that goes, and then potentially come back into Formula 1.
“I think it’s a great platform that they have.”
Doohan had two F2 outings at the end of 2021, something of a cameo to learn the ropes of the new car and championship.
Having shown promising pace in Saudi Arabia on debut, and then qualifying on the front row in Abu Dhabi, he heads into this year with the firm focus of contending for the championship.
“I’m not going in with a two-year headspace, but I’m not going in with expectations,” he said.
“I have a goal and that’s obviously to contend for the title and win races, but then also the expectation is very realistic due to my obviously limited experience.
“So I’m not going to put any high expectations and any unneeded pressure on myself.
“I think I’m just going to enjoy being in a Formula 2 car and being in a top team with an awesome academy.
“Hopefully with a mixture of everything, we can perform well.”
Opening practice for the 2022 Formula 2 season begins at 20:35 AEDT this evening.