Doohan: Alpine F1 discussions fuel motivation to perform in F2

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The F2 rookie is a contender for the vacant Alpine Formula 1 seat for 2023 as teammate of Esteban Ocon after Fernando Alonso announced his move to Aston Martin.

Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi said the priority for the team was to secure a driver who would score points from the start, rather than taking time to build himself up.

But he said Doohan was on the team’s radar and “definitely has a really good sense of timing as he’s doing a tremendous job at the moment”.

Doohan has so far taken three wins in F2, adding the feature race win at Spa to sprint victories at Silverstone and the Hungaroring, and has three poles to his name from Bahrain, Barcelona and Monza.

The Australian, who is currently fourth in the F2 standings, would qualify for a super license even if he drops to fifth in the Abu Dhabi final. He finished second in Formula 3 last season, earning 25 points for a super license, and would cross the 40 super license points mark by earning an extra 20 for fifth place in F2.

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At the penultimate F2 round of the season in Monza, Doohan said the discussions are “motivation to work hard” in the closing stages of his F2 campaign with Virtuosi, but said he was “not really under pressure”.

He said: “To be honest, I’m happy with it because of course there’s talk and of course I definitely want to do it right.

“I know it’s there, so for me it’s motivation to work hard. Not that I wasn’t working hard, but to almost know that I have to show my maturity, I have to show my head and show that I am capable of getting myself together.

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Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing

Photo By: Formula Motorsport Ltd

“If it’s not P1, then it’s taking P4 with a car that can take P4, and I’m not really under any pressure, so I can just enjoy what I’m doing, and I love this.

“So I can use my potential and really enjoy this moment and this time.”

Doohan first got a taste of F1 machines in Qatar in May, with a 2021-spec A521 chassis.

He will also join the team at the Hungaroring on Thursday for a test alongside Antonio Giovinazzi and Nyck de Vries, who are being judged for the seat.

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Despite the noise surrounding his future, Doohan said he was “trying not to get too involved” in the discussions.

Doohan added: “Obviously it’s a good time to perform, but all times is a good time to perform, no matter what’s going on.

“Obviously there’s a lot going on and I’m trying not to get too involved in it to be honest. I’m trying to stay focused on what I can control and that’s my car, my team and beyond to be honest it’s not a worry at the moment.

“I’m just going to try to get good results, good performance and show what we can do.

“Eventually, at the end of the year, we’ll see what happens, but I love Formula 2 right now.”