Doohan said no to Le Mans to focus on F1 dream

"It was wiser to concentrate on Formula 1"


13 February 2024 - 10:25
Doohan said no to Le Mans to focus (…)

Jack Doohan has a clear plan for 2024 - position himself perfectly as the obvious successor to one of Alpine’s current race drivers.

Continuing Alpine team boss Bruno Famin admits that, after Lewis Hamilton exploded the 2025 ’silly season’, he needs to work to retain the out-of-contract Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon for next season.

But after losing Oscar Piastri to McLaren in 2022 due to a non-watertight contract, Alpine is now much more determined to hang onto its latest Australian reserve driver.

"I am tied to Alpine on a multi-year contract," Doohan, whose father is the fabled motorcycle racing legend Mick Doohan, is quoted by Speed Week. "I see my future here."

After finishing third overall in Formula 2 last year, Doohan has completely cleared his program for 2024 in order to focus 100 percent on F1.

Mick Schumacher, who curiously is named after Mick Doohan, will be Mercedes’ F1 reserve in 2024 - but he’ll also race for Alpine in the top hypercar category in the Le Mans-focused world endurance championship.

Doohan, though, will not similarly divert his focus.

"It was discussed," he admits, "but we quickly came to the conclusion that it was wiser to concentrate on Formula 1."

The 21-year-old has been allocated a healthy schedule of F1 testing for Alpine this year, as well as being the reserve driver for each of the 24 rounds on the world championship calendar.

"I’ll be at all the races that are more than three hours by plane from the factory," Doohan announced. "For the others, and that includes all the races in Europe, I’ll be in the simulator on Friday and then go to the venue.

"But apart from the race drivers, I will be the guy with the most kilometres in a Formula 1 car in 2024," said Doohan. "And we’re not talking about short missions here. We’re talking about race distances in all conditions and that makes me an attractive alternative for the F1 teams," he added.

"My entire focus this year is on being one of the 20 drivers on the grid next season. I want to show Bruno that there is no way around me if Pierre or Esteban leave the team.

"I did the practice session in Abu Dhabi (2023) and was only half a tenth slower than Pierre."

Alpine F1 Team - Renault


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