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Doohan in for Mexico, Abu Dhabi F1 free practice runs with Alpine

Jack Doohan will run rookie FP1 sessions for Alpine in Mexico and Abu Dhabi, marking the Australian's public Formula 1 debut.

Mick Doohan and son Jack Doohan

Mick Doohan and son Jack Doohan

Carl Bingham / Motorsport Images

These will be the last opportunities for any teams to run rookies this year, as Brazil is a sprint race and thus FP1 is followed by qualifying in the afternoon.

It is understood than any formal confirmation of Doohan’s outings had been delayed by complications over formally finalising Oscar Piastri’s exit from the team.

The latter was supposed to do the Alpine FP1 running this year, but that naturally became unrealistic after his move to McLaren was confirmed.

Esteban Ocon will vacate his car for Mexico to allow Doohan to take over in FP1.

“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.”

Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing

Jack Doohan, Virtuosi Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Doohan has been preparing for his run with outings in Alpine’s 2021 car, including one in Budapest last month at the same session that Nyck de Vries and Antonio Giovinazzi drove the car. He also gained some brief experience of the current car in a filming day at Monza.

Doohan is highly regarded within the Alpine camp, and he was regarded as a possible Plan B should the team have failed to secure the services of Pierre Gasly for 2023.

He put himself in the frame with a strong rookie F2 season, having won the sprints at Silverstone and Hungary, and the feature race at Spa. He is currently fourth in the points standings.

With Gasly and Ocon both now secure at the Enstone camp it remains to be seen what Doohan’s options are for next year and beyond.

Some other teams have yet to confirm who will fill their final FP1 slots, with both Red Bull Racing and AlphaTauri still having to do one session.

Liam Lawson is the candidate for both seats, assuming that De Vries is not an option in Abu Dhabi due to his ongoing Mercedes commitments. The Dutchman still has to do one more session in the W13 in Mexico.

Other FP1 outings still to come include Pietro Fittipaldi (Haas, Mexico and Abu Dhabi), Pato O’Ward (McLaren, Abu Dhabi), Felipe Drugovich (Aston Martin, Abu Dhabi), Robert Shwartzman (Ferrari, Abu Dhabi) and Logan Sargeant (Williams, Mexico and Abu Dhabi).

Many of the drivers who have conducted FP1 sessions this year will also be involved in the rookie testing that takes place in Abu Dhabi after the race weekend, and which also forms part of Pirelli’s preparations for 2023. It's understood that De Vries will be free by then to drive for AlphaTauri.

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