Otmar Szafnauer has decided to make Formula 2’s Jack Doohan its Formula 1 reserve driver for the 2023 season. The 20-year-old’s promotion was confirmed as part of the team’s 2023 season launch in London on Thursday night.
“We have a new reserve driver,” began team boss Otmar Szafnauer.
“Although he can’t be with us here tonight because he’s in Bahrain, getting ready for the F2 Championship where he should be, testing, we would like to announce to all of our Australian friends here and others that Jack Doohan will be our Reserve Driver for 2023.”
The Alpine principal said “superfast” Jack Doohan can get himself a Formula 1 drive if he wins this year’s Formula 2 championship.
The 20-year-old Australian will continue to fulfill his F1 obligations alongside his second full-time campaign in F2, after finishing sixth last season.
Previously, he finished runner-up in Formula 3 and Formula 3 Asia in 2021 and 2020 respectively.
Doohan has already made two FP1 appearances for Alpine, appearing at the 2022 Mexican and Abu Dhabi GPs.
Last season, in his rookie F2 campaign, he won three races and claimed six podiums overall on his way to P6 in the final standings.
Doohan has been a part of its Academy programme. Last year he stepped into the role that would have been filled by Oscar Piastri in the latter part of the season, taking part in two Free Practice 1 sessions and the post-season test in Abu Dhabi.
At the time, Doohan played down the importance or need to be named Reserve Driver, reasoning success in Formula 2 was more important that the role of supporting race drivers Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.
Reacting to his promotion to the Alpine F1 reserve role on social media, Doohan wrote:
“Very pleased to announce I’ll be the reserve driver for 2023 for Alpine F1 Team.
“Very grateful for this opportunity to work closely with the team, to provide my support for the year, and learn as much as possible for the future. Can’t wait to get started!”
— BWT Alpine F1 Team (@AlpineF1Team) February 17, 2023
The opening round of the F2 season in Bahrain on March 2-5.
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited