After a disappointing first round in Bahrain, Jack Doohan bounced back with a podium in the second Feature Race of the 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship and sent a warning to his rivals.
The Australian driver was way off the pace in Bahrain, and came to Jeddah without a single point on the board as he struggled to feel comfortable with the car.
In Saudi Arabia, the Invicta Virtuosi Racing driver still felt there was work to do, but took a big confidence boost from his performance.
He said: “If this is our pace in our bad and worst moments then everyone else should watch out.
“When we get it together we’re going to be very hard to beat – we can fight for the championship.”
The Alpine junior driver stayed with the same team that took him to three race wins last year, but has struggled to match that form so far this season.
He said: “I have been struggling to find confidence with the car, we’ve had a few fundamental issues so far this season.
“I still don’t have the same feeling as last year, but we’re doing everything we can to get on top of it.”
Doohan was understandably reluctant to reveal the exact reasons why he and the team have struggled but said that the first signs of trouble were present as early as pre-season testing.
After such a tricky start to the year, the 20-year-old looked back to his usual self in Jeddah, qualifying in fourth place and navigating a long and eventful Feature Race to make it back onto the podium.
Doohan was quick off the line in the Feature Race and challenged pole-sitter Victor Martins for P2 as the Frenchman struggled to launch his ART Grand Prix car.
The fast-charging Frederik Vesti jumped past Doohan during the pit stops to take P3 behind the leading duo of Ollie Bearman and Martins.
Vesti and Doohan were quickly catapulted up the order as both Bearman and Martins spun out within a few moments of each other.
The PREMA driver looked quick all race, and would eventually win by four seconds.
The man from Down Under will now head into his home race at Albert Park next month hoping to fight for the win, and prove that it is Jeddah and not Bahrain that is a true reflection of his and the team’s ability.
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited