The Australian driver will line up at the front of the grid for Sunday’s Feature Race, thanks to his 1:40.542 lap time which was set in the gap between the other drivers’ first and second qualifying runs.
This allowed him to set a clean lap time, benefitting from a clear track ahead of him while the rest of the field changed their tyres, while others, including third-placed Jüri Vips, were affected by traffic.
“We were going into the unknown, but I had the confidence. We committed to a different strategy from everyone else and luckily it worked out. The last 10 minutes waiting in the pit lane was quite nerve-racking, and luckily we held on to P1.”
Despite his triumph in his first qualifying session for Virtuosi Racing, Doohan still felt that there were improvements to be made.
“I don’t think it was an insane lap. It was quite clean, I think there was still a little bit of time in hand for me, but it was still enough to get the job done so I’m quite happy.”
Last season’s runner-up in F3 now leads the F2 Championship standings courtesy of his two points for pole position, but was eager not to get ahead of himself at this early stage.
“It [pole position] means a lot, but to be honest it’s round 1 of 14 and still very early in the weekend, so I’m just going to continue to work at it. I’ll enjoy the moment, but we also need to keep pushing.”
With the top 10 positions from qualifying reversed for the Sprint Race, Doohan will line up in P10 tomorrow and will look to move up into the points, which are awarded for the top eight finishers as part of the revised format for 2022.