Doohan would welcome WEC seat whilst staying patient for F1
By Ian Parkes
Sunday 12th November, 2023 - 11:50am
Jack Doohan has no intention of snubbing an opportunity to race in WEC should a seat be made available to him for 2024.
Doohan will bow out of F2 following the final round in Abu Dhabi in a fortnight’s time, with the Australian still in with a shot of finishing third in the standings behind championship leader Theo Pourchaire and Frederik Vesti.
The 20-year-old insists he has “made the most” of his time in F2 with Virtuosi Racing which has been laced with frustration on occasion as situations beyond his control have worked against him, whilst there have also been highs, such as his back-to-back feature race wins in Hungary and Belgium this year.
F1 team Alpine is expected to retain Doohan as its reserve driver for next season, whilst potentially dovetailing those duties with a drive in its LMP2 programme to keep his racecraft sharp.
Doohan appreciates that competing in a different code of racing can only add to his learning and experience.
“It’s a completely different philosophy,” remarked Doohan. “You’re driving with two other people, and the priority isn’t about being the fastest over one lap. It’s about being the fastest over a stint.
“Also, it’s about working with the other drivers because you need to make everyone as fast as possible to make the package win the race.
“For sure, I wouldn’t turn down the opportunity. It would be great to understand endurance racing.
“In Formula 1, although it’s a different philosophy, you are also in a long race where you’re having to lift and coast, having to manage issues.
“So learning that in WEC, working through that in high-pressure environments, it’s only going to help when I return to the paddock.”
Like Oscar Piastri before him at Alpine, Doohan will now have to bide his time before making a bid for F1 in 2025.
Even after winning the F3 and F2 titles back-to-back in 2020 and 2021, there was no opportunity for Piastri to move into F1 last season, resulting in him spending a year on the sidelines as Alpine reserve in 2022.
Doohan now faces the same situation, although is not alone as it appears as if no F2 driver will be promoted this year.
Williams is now the only team with a potential seat available, with team principal James Vowles waiting until the end of the year to make a decision on whether or not to retain Logan Sargeant.
Doohan has conceded to frustration that F1 is closed off at present, although his positivity when it comes to 2025 is striking, believing he is in a strong position given Alpine’s support.
“You have to understand that’s the way this circuit (F1) works,” said Doohan. “Sometimes there are a bunch of seats opening, and there are years where there are none.
“So you have to be patient, you have to have trust in your team, in your situation. That’s when it’s even more important to have a team behind you, a really good connection like I do.
“We have to trust together, and I know there is no rush or a timeline where this isn’t going to be possible.
“I look forward to staying with the team, and we know that in 2025 there are going to be plenty of opportunities.”