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FIA F2 Abu Dhabi

Doohan weighing up 2024 options as F2 exit confirmed

Alpine junior Jack Doohan has confirmed that he won’t return to Formula 2 for a third season in 2024, but will focus on building a career in Formula 1.

Jack Doohan, Alpine A523

The most likely progression for Doohan is that he concentrates on the Alpine reserve role and is fully embedded in the Enstone team next year, while continuing his test programme in a two-year-old car.

While he has attended all Grands Prix as a reserve this year, and took part in FP1 in Mexico on Friday, his F2 commitments meant that his main focus was on the latter series at weekends when both were on the bill.

However there also remains the possibility that he dovetails his F1 role with an WEC programme.

Alpine’s hypercar project presents an obvious opportunity, but Doohan insists that no decision has been made thus far.

The Australian currently lies fourth in the F2 standings after an at times difficult sophomore season with Virtuosi saw him score two feature wins.

"Currently I won't be competing iIn F2 for next year,” he said. “It doesn't seem realistic, with the situation and everything that's sort of gone on.

“I've made the most of it, I think we've done a great job with what's been in my control. So doing [a third year] wouldn't be much of a gain.

“My two years in F2 haven't necessarily gone exactly to plan. I'm sure everyone can say that, it never really does. But through that, and through the bad moments, the highs, with what's been in my control, I think I've done well, and been able to show my capabilities.

“Doing another year in F2, if you win it, you're expected to, if you don't, you may as well... There's not much to gain. So there's all to lose and not much to gain.

"Currently I've got no direction of WEC or anything confirmed. So I'm still very much in line of F1, the team is still pushing for that and staying within the team, and still pushing for a F1 seat. So this is my route. And I'm sure I'll get there.”

Jack Doohan (AUS, Invicta Virtuosi Racing), celebrates victory on the podium

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

Jack Doohan (AUS, Invicta Virtuosi Racing), celebrates victory on the podium

Doohan stressed that if he did move into sportscars it would be another stepping stone to F1 rather than a change of direction.

"What we're really targeting, even if I was to venture out to WEC, the plan would be to come back to F1 in '25,” he said. “So that wouldn't be a plan to stay. The [Alpine F1] team are happy with the work that we're doing, and the trajectory that we're going for.

“If a possibility comes to drive in that direction, to further my foundation and broaden my knowledge on different areas – but the goal and the trajectory is still F1.”

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He added: "I didn't miss a race this year. Obviously, that includes the 14 that I do with F2. And looking in the future, obviously, if I was to be here as well, I would be at every round, taking in everything that I can, not missing any opportunity, and continuing this progress and this progression."

Doohan acknowledged that a stint in WEC could be a useful part of his education.

"It's a completely different philosophy,” he said. “You're driving with two other people, the priority isn't about being the fastest over one lap, it's about being the faster over the stint, and also working with other drivers because you need to make everyone as fast as possible to make the package in the end, win the race.

“For sure, I wouldn't turn down the opportunity, it would be very great to understand obviously endurance racing. F1, it's a different philosophy, but you are also in a long race where you having to lift and coast, you're having to manage issues.

“So learning that in WEC, getting through and working through that in high pressure environments, it's only going to help when I when I come back into this paddock."

He downplayed the tantalising possibility of hooking up with Mick Schumacher, who is in line for an Alpine WEC seat following a recent test in the A424 at Jerez. Their respective families have been close for years.

"Would be nice for the media,” he said. “But for me, I honestly, as you guys would know, I have no interest in making anything look good for the press at the moment!

“I have plenty of time to do that later in my career. But for now, I just want to do what's best for me, what's going to benefit me most and give me the best opportunity to get a fulltime seat in '25."

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