FIA Formula 2 driver, Jack Doohan, expressed that it was, “amazing for me to be able to experience a Formula 1 car for the first time” as he took to the Losail International Circuit in Qatar for his first test session in the Alpine.
Joining the Alpine Academy in January, the 19 year old Australian was offered this opportunity alongside Alpine reserve driver, and last season’s Formula 2 Champion, Oscar Piastri.
During the pre-Barcelona F2 driver Press Conference, I asked Jack about his first drive in the A521 F1 car.
“I’ve been to a few tests before, but obviously not in the drivers seat. So to be able to fully work with all the engineers, and to be going through the motions and learning more about how they operate and how a test day is executed, is unbelievable.”
Mat Coch, of SpeedCafe, asked Jack to expand further:
“We completed something between 80-90 laps, unfortunately for some reason there was this weird cutting of the tyres. Oscar was running the two days before me and he’s prioritised as it’s his testing plan.
“The double kerbs are aggressive in Qatar. They cut through a few sets of tyres, and he [Piastri] took a few sets from my allocation, so I didn’t do any quali sims in the end – but definitely still got a good amount of runs in.”
When Formula 2 drivers take the leap into a Formula 1 car, it’s always interesting to hear their reaction to the experience:
“The car’s obviously a completely different beast. So much downforce, it’s unbelievable. It’s something in the end that’s adaptation. To learn how to use that to your advantage, where the car can give you more, when there’s so much for it to give.”
Comparing to a Formula 2 car, Jack stated:
“I did the test on Sunday, and then I was in the Formula 2 sim on Monday. That was a big reality check to come back! But it’s what I’m doing and so I need to not get caught up with any of that because I’m in Formula 2 and I have a very steep and very big jump to go.”
Doohan has had a mixed start to his Formula 2 campaign, and his focus is clearly on the prize within his reach:
“Things have definitely not gone to plan, unfortunately, but it’s still early days in this Formula 2 season. Our pace is there so I need to make sure I get this Championship started before anymore thoughts of Formula 1.”
Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited