Formula 1 Racing

Doohan says high testing mileage makes him most attractive non-F1 driver

Jack Doohan, Alpine

As well as FP1 rookie sessions, the Australian is undertaking 10 days of private F1 testing in older cars throughout the season, while also doing extensive simulator work at the factory, where the facilities are being upgraded this year.

Should either Esteban Ocon or Pierre Gasly move elsewhere as the silly season ramps up, Doohan will be well placed to take their seat, while also potentially being attractive to other teams should there be no vacancy in the Enstone camp.

“Outside of the current F1 grid for a driver who hasn’t driven a race in F1 I’m definitely the driver with the highest mileage in the machinery,” he told Autosport.

“And that’s not over one lap, that’s race distances, in the wet, in the dry, high temps, low temps. So I’m starting to see it all, which is really good and for sure only appealing to F1 teams.

“For me, the sole focus at the moment is trying to secure my place on the grid for next year, while also making sure I’m doing the job in these tests because they’re very important as well.”

His priority is to convince Alpine team boss Bruno Famin that he is the right man to replace Ocon or Gasly, should either of the current drivers depart.

“I’m absolutely determined,” he said of his desire to be on the 2025 grid. “That’s the plan, and that’s also the plan with myself, Bruno and the team.

Jack Doohan, Alpine

Photo by: Alpine

“At the moment, I have a long contract with Alpine. So I want to be here. I’ve worked with the team now for three years.

“Everyone is a familiar face, we have a good connection, it’s a good atmosphere, there’s a good team morale with us all, so to be able to hop in the car would feel like home. So I look forward to hopefully doing it.”

The 10 days of private testing, a similar programme to the one pursued by former Alpine reserve Oscar Piastri before his move to McLaren in the summer of 2022, will see Doohan logging miles at a variety of current F1 venues.

“It’s one day in the ’21 car, and then the further nine in the 2022 car,” he said. “So at the end of the year, mileage is going to be quite good.

“Already, I’ve spent quite a lot of time in the car. I feel ready to hop [in] like I did in Abu Dhabi in FP1, jumping in straight after F2, and was only half a tenth off Pierre. So this is only going to further help, and it’s the 2022 car, which is the next-gen.

“I’ll be in Qatar and Abu Dhabi, and then the typical European circuits, I’m sure we’ll do Monza, Red Bull Ring,…

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