Doohan 'ready for anything' as Alpine's 2023 reserve

Jack Doohan (AUS), Alpine F1 Team 22.11.2022. Formula 1 Testing, Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, Tuesday.
© XPB 

Alpine F1's new official test and reserve driver, Jack Doohan, is looking forward to getting as much experience as possible as he prepares to understudy Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly in 2023.

Last year the reserve driver role was filled by Oscar Piastri, who was widely expected to take up a full time seat with Alpine for 2023 after Fernando Alonso's departure.

But Piastri turned down an offer from Alpine in favour of one from McLaren, leading to Gasly coming in from AlphaTauri and Doohan being confirmed as their reserve at this week's 2023 team launch event in London on Thursday.

“I’m very new to this role so I’ll be finding out a lot about the criteria throughout the season," acknowledged the 20-year-old Australian, who was sixth in last year's Formula 2 championship.

“The role has many different avenues. I have to be ready in any circumstances in case one of the race drivers is unable to race for whatever reason," he said. "I have to make sure I am prepared and ready for anything that might happen.

"It’s going to be about being dependable and consistent as well as having the ability to adapt quickly," he said. "I will be doing my best to help the F1 team out by providing feedback from my sessions.

"It might be small details but hopefully I can pass on some good knowledge and be an extra pair of eyes and ears to assist the team’s progress," he added. "I will be staying race sharp as I’m racing in F2 this season, so that's a benefit.

"More generally it’s about shadowing the team and the drivers to help maximise the race weekend. I will do a lot of simulator sessions at Enstone and some test days in an old car to stay sharp in Formula 1 machinery."

Although Piastri was still with the team until the end of 2022, Alpine Academy driver Doohan enjoyed FP1 outings in Mexico and Abu Dhabi as well as the official post-season young driver test, meaning he already has some experience of F1.

“It was an awesome opportunity to drive the A522 in official Formula 1 sessions last year," he said. "I took it step by step and focused on learning as much as I could on those days.

"I aimed to run to the programme and better my knowledge on what it takes to drive a modern Formula 1 car. By the post-race Abu Dhabi test, I was able to push a little more to see the potential of the car.

Jack Doohan (AUS) Alpine F1 Team A522 Alpine Academy Driver.
28.10.2022. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 20, Mexican Grand Prix, Mexico City, Mexico, Practice Day.

"It will be a beneficial experience to drive the 2023 car and feel the differences from the A522 and see what has evolved," he added.

“I’m really excited to be working alongside both Esteban and Pierre this year. It’s a very strong line-up for the team. Both of them will provide solid data and help develop a fast race car together with the team.

“I started to work more closely with Esteban last season especially in preparation for my two FP1 outings," Doohan pointed out. "I don’t know Pierre, so it will be good to welcome him to the team and learn things from him.

"I want to gain as much experience as I can from both of them throughout the year," he said. "The team looks to be in good shape after a successful season in 2022

"I’m really thankful to the team for these opportunities, and it’s really good at this stage of my career to keep adding this experience to my driving skillset.”

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