Doohan confirms end of the road with F2
By Ian Parkes
Saturday 28th October, 2023 - 9:49am
Jack Doohan has confirmed his F2 career will come to an end with this season’s curtain-closing race weekend in Abu Dhabi in November.
Doohan concedes his two seasons in F2 with Virtuosi Racing have not yielded the results he had hoped for, although there have been numerous highs, including back-to-back feature race wins in Hungary and Belgium this year.
Currently fourth in the drivers’ standings, Doohan will bow out of F2 at the Yas Marina Circuit on November 26.
“I won’t be competing in Formula 2 for next year,” said Doohan, when asked by Speedcafe at the Mexico City Grand Prix whether he would drive for a third season in the series. “It doesn’t seem realistic.
“With everything that’s gone on, I’ve made the most of it. We’ve done a great job with what’s been in my control, so doing so (another season) wouldn’t be much of a gain.”
The 20-year-old Gold Coast native feels another year could harm his reputation.
“My two years in Formula 2 haven’t necessarily gone exactly to plan – I’m sure everyone can tell you it never really does.
“But through that and through the bad moments, (there have been) the highs and what’s been in my control. I think I’ve done well and been able to show my capabilities.
“Doing another year of F2, if you win it, you’re expected, and if you don’t, you may as well…there’s all to lose and not much to gain, so I think we’re doing the right thing.”
The expectation is Doohan will be retained by Alpine as its reserve driver for next season, whilst potentially competing for the French marque with its LMP2 programme before finding a route back into F1 in 2025.
“I’ve no direction on WEC, or anything confirmed,” insisted Doohan. “And it’s not really a ‘when will I know’. It’s about what we’re really targeting. Even if I were to venture out, the plan would be to come back to Formula 1 in ’25.
“The team is happy with the work that we’re doing and the trajectory that we’re going for, so if a possibility comes to drive in that direction (WEC), to further my foundation and broaden my knowledge in different areas, then I look forward to it.
“But the goal and trajectory is still Formula 1, and the team is still pushing for that, (with me) staying within the team and still pushing for that seat. This is my route, and I’m sure I’ll get there.”
Doohan was speaking after his third FP1 outing with Alpine, sitting in for Pierre Gasly around the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez.
A planned run programme meant there were barely any push laps, leaving him 18th on the timesheet of the 19 drivers that set a time.
Regardless, Doohan declared himself “super, super happy and content to be back in the car”.
He added: “I feel super comfortable within it, and within the team, so that helps a lot.
“The session went smoothly, I was able to get through everything with no issues, and I managed to tick all the boxes, so from our side, the session went really well.
“I at least felt much better prepared this year. Last year I was prepared, I went into it with normal FP1 running, high mileage, and then was able to set a quick lap time at the end.
“This year, due to my greater knowledge of Formula 1 machinery, we went for more limited laps, and test-item running for next year, so I had limited laps in terms of pushing, but I was glad the team had faith in me for that.”
Doohan will next run in an F1 car in first practice at the Abu Dhabi GP, which he will dovetail with his commitments to F2 for his swansong.