F2 racer winner and academy driver Jack Doohan has been handed FP1 runs with Alpine over Oscar Piastri in Mexico and Abu Dhabi.
At the start of the 2022 F1 season, Alpine always pinned Piastri to be fulfilling the FIA young driver quota of two FP1 sessions this season. But once the Australian decided to leave the academy and the outfit, those plans certainly changed.
And his confirmed move to McLaren sealed his fate as one Australian’s loss was a boon for another. Fellow academy mate Doohan is now confirmed to take part in two FP1 sessions this year with Alpine as he becomes the front-runner for a future shot in F1.
The youngster is in his rookie F2 season and mostly due to lack of experience was not chosen for a F1 drive in 2023 as they opted to hire Pierre Gasly alongside Esteban Ocon. This gives Doohan another year in the feeder series to further gain experience.
To boost his F1 chances, Doohan will get to impress the Alpine bosses in FP1 sessions in Mexico and Abu Dhabi – his first go in an official session after undertaking several private running. He will replace Ocon in Mexico and Fernando Alonso in Abu Dhabi.
“I’m extremely grateful to Alpine for giving me this opportunity to drive in Free Practice in Mexico,” said Doohan. “It’s always a huge honour to be entrusted to drive a Formula 1 car, so to have the opportunity on a Grand Prix weekend is very special. Ultimately, the aim is to be doing this every week and this experience is another step closer to achieving that goal.
“I’ve prepared as best as I can, and I think it’s going to be very exciting to experience the car at this type of circuit with the high altitude and very high top speed. I’ll work hard on the day, do everything the team sets out and, at the same time, enjoy the moment as I know it’s going to be a unique opportunity.”
At the same time, Otmar Szafnauer added: “We are very pleased to announce Jack will join the team in Mexico and take over driving duties for Free Practice 1. We have all been impressed with Jack’s progression across many areas this season and he’s deserving of this chance as we continue to nurture his high potential.
“It’s important to give our young drivers opportunities to test Formula 1 cars and our Academy programme has proven to be successful in doing just that. We expect Jack to work hard during the session and take as much as he can from the experience of being involved in a Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend.”
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