Doohan declares war for Alpine race seat: ‘No way around me’

Jack Doohan is setting his sights high for 2024, aiming to carve out his spot as the prime candidate for a race seat at Alpine, should one become available. With the F1 landscape still reeling from the shake-up caused by Lewis Hamilton’s move, Alpine’s team boss, Bruno Famin, is on high alert to secure his drivers, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon, beyond their current contracts. This urgency stems from Alpine’s past oversight with Oscar Piastri, which they’re keen not to repeat with their new Australian prodigy.

“I am tied to Alpine on a multi-year contract,” Doohan, son of motorcycle racing icon Mick Doohan, confirmed, signaling his commitment to the team. After a third-place finish in Formula 2 last year, Doohan has cleared his schedule to devote himself entirely to F1, unlike Mick Schumacher, who will juggle his role as Mercedes’ F1 reserve with racing in the top hypercar category.

Doohan’s strategy is clear: full immersion in F1. He revealed, “It was discussed,” regarding the possibility of racing in other categories, “but we quickly came to the conclusion that it was wiser to concentrate on Formula 1.” This dedication is underscored by a hefty schedule of F1 testing with Alpine, alongside his role as the team’s reserve driver for all 24 championship rounds.

With a plan to be physically present at all the races this year, Doohan is also poised to become one of the most experienced drivers outside the current race lineup with a hefty testing schedule in the 2022 Alpine. “Apart from the race drivers, I will be the guy with the most kilometres in a Formula 1 car in 2024,” he asserts, highlighting his extensive preparation and making him an appealing option for F1 teams.

Focused solely on breaking into the exclusive circle of 20 F1 drivers next season, Doohan is determined to demonstrate to Bruno Famin that he’s an indispensable choice for Alpine, especially if Gasly or Ocon depart. “I want to show Bruno that there is no way around me if Pierre or Esteban leave the team,” he said, pointing out that in Abu Dhabi practice late last season, he was within a tenth of Gasly’s time.

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