Szafnauer impressed with Doohan as he's sure he'll claim the F2 crown in 2023

The F2 champion-in-waiting has shown remarkable driving ability and great race craft, proving Szafnauer's confidence in him is well-placed.

The big boss himself, Otmar Szafnauer, from Alpine, took time to admit that he was stunned by the "unmatched potential” that has been shown by Jack Doohan. 

Doohan left the Red Bull Junior team in 2021 and joined Alpine Academy at the beginning of their 2022 campaign. He took part in two FP1 sessions, Mexico City and Abu Dhabi. He was also driving for the same team in the post-season test at the Yas Marina Circuit.

As he spoke about the 19-year-old, Szafnauer mentioned how he had been impressed with the pace and professionalism of Doohan. Doohan is the son of former 500cc motorcycle world champion Mick Doohan. 

Szafnauer mentioned, “Next year he'll be in Formula 2 again. He’ll be part of the Alpine family going forward but his focus for next year will be to win the Formula 2 championship." He went on to add, “He is really really good. He is very professional for a young man, and he works hard, he prepares himself well. He drives within himself too, so, he’s got great potential.”

Szafnauer was asked if Doohan would be the team’s reserve driver in 2023, and in response, he said, “I haven’t thought of that yet, but he will definitely have a role in the team; as to what role, we haven’t decided.”

At the Esteban Ocon in FP1 at the Mexico City Grand Prix, Doohan was grateful to Alpine for the opportunity of being given the chance to drive a 2022-spec car and he described it as an amazing experience he would always cherish. In his exact words, he said, "I just have to say a huge thank you to Alpine, and all the boys and girls there for giving me this opportunity. It’s something I will surely cherish forever and remember. 

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He added, “Once I was in the car, obviously there was a little bit of emotion and feeling, but in the lead-up I was quite content. I knew that this was happening for quite a while, and it gave me plenty of time to prepare. So, it wasn’t a shock to the system, and I was very happy before getting into the car and when in the car.”

Doohan is set to drive for Virtuosi Racing in the 2023 F2 championship. It is set to begin alongside F1 at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 4-5.

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