Alpine tell Doohan what is required to earn F1 drive
By Ian Parkes
Monday 20th February, 2023 - 6:00am
Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has outlined to Jack Doohan what is required from him if he is to land an F1 drive in the future.
Ahead of Doohan’s second season in F2, Szafnauer confirmed at the launch of the A523 in London that the 20-year-old would take over the role of reserve driver from Oscar Piastri with the French team.
It represents a significant step in the right direction for the Gold Coast driver as he will be present at all Formula 1 grand prix this season which incorporates a record-breaking 23 races.
The increased nature of the learning curve will include attending numerous engineering briefings and regular simulator work to assist race drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon.
Explaining why Doohan had been chosen to be the team’s reserve, Szafnauer told Fox Sports: “He’s been part of our Academy for a while now, and will be in the future.
“The reason we named him is he has a chance of winning the F2 championship.
“He was a little bit unlucky last year in his first year but he showed some very good promise.
“He’s talented, fast, and he comes from a talented racing background as well.
“He’s learned in ’22, and I look forward to him winning the F2 championship in ’23.”
Doohan needs luck to win F2 title
Doohan was in with a chance of finishing third in the F2 standings last season after scoring his first feature race win in Belgium.
But retirements in each of the following three feature races at Zandvoort, Monza, and Abu Dhabi relegated Doohan to sixth by the conclusion of the campaign.
As to what Doohan now had to prove to Szafnauer that he would be worthy of an F1 drive at the end of his second F2 season, he added: “It would help to win the F2 championship.
“However, there’s a little bit of luck that goes along with that.
“So we’ll be watching him closely, and as our reserve driver, he’ll be with the team at every race.
“He’s learning, he’s super-fast, and I’m sure, with more races under his belt, his racecraft will improve, too.”
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