Jack Doohan is planning an extensive test program with Alpine for 2024 – His goal: a Formula 1 regular seat in 2025 – How the Australian assesses his current form
Jack Doohan has not yet contested a Formula 1 Grand Prix. But if the time comes in 2024, the Australian feels ready. “Yes, one hundred percent,” says the 20-year-old after his latest Formula 1 test with Alpine in Abu Dhabi.
After driving the A523 in the first free practice session there, Doohan had another go at the last test of the year and finished seventh.
“At the moment, I seem to be pretty close to the two main drivers on a fast lap,” says the Alpine test driver. “We already showed that in the first free practice session. I was just over a tenth behind Pierre (Gasly) on our two runs on the soft tires.”
“I think for me it’s now about getting that last half tenth out of the car. Whether it’s working with the tire guys or even the aero guys, I’m just trying to maximize the little things, especially with tire management. It’s different to what I know from Formula 2. “
Doohan: Other options turned down
Doohan finished this year’s Formula 2 season in third place overall. Back in the Formula 1 car, he says: “When I leave the pit lane for the first time, it’s still quite a shock. But you quickly get used to the speed.”
“And I’m now mainly trying to leave Formula 2 behind me and make this my working window, my new base,” adds the Australian.
He will remain a test and reserve driver at Alpine in 2024 and is unlikely to compete in any other racing series: “I don’t have any races planned at the moment. I’ve had quite a few opportunities outside of Formula 1 – in Super Formula, IndyCar, Hypercar. I was very lucky to have these opportunities.”
“But at this stage, I think it’s crucial to focus solely on Formula 1,” emphasizes Doohan, who wants to secure a regular seat for 2025.
Alpine is supporting him with an extensive testing program: “The team hasn’t made any announcements yet, so I don’t want to anticipate anything. But we will be spending a lot of time in the car with the team. It’s great to know that I have that. It will be more than this year, which is great.”
“The opportunity to spend that time in a Formula 1 car, being on the track and working in the simulator will put me in the best possible position to get a seat in Formula 1 ’25,” Doohan looks ahead.
“Feel like I belong here “
The test on Tuesday showed just how much confidence Alpine already has in him. “Last year, I was still pretty new to Formula 1 and the whole circus, so it was more of a normal rookie test back then. This time it was about real test elements. It was very torturous and intense. “
“I don’t think I did my first fast single lap until 45 minutes before the end of the day. So it was mainly 7 to 10 lap runs. It was great that they had the confidence in me to do that and also to work with the team in that way,” enthuses the Alpine test driver.
“It’s the first time I’ve done this kind of testing and event on the track and not in the simulator.” This also increases his motivation to get involved full-time.
Says Doohan: “When I do these back-to-back runs, at different stages, with different tire management and I see that I can be in the mix and be one of the guys out there setting good times, it gives me good confidence and makes me feel like I belong here.”
“We didn’t make our last run on the C5 tires. So the times are a bit obscured, but we know how close it was. So I think if I had to step in, I’d be more than ready to keep up,” he affirms.