Ex-Formula 1 driver David Coulthard has sung the praises of Jack Doohan and compared him to Michael Schumacher but admits he’s unsure when the Formula 2 driver might have the chance to compete in F1.
Doohan, who currently serves as a reserve driver for Alpine, completed his second full season in F2 in 2023. It was his strongest campaign in the junior category, with the 20-year-old finishing third in the championship.
Coulthard lauded Doohan’s performance in the feeder series, going so far as to share his view that the young Australian deserves a spot on the F1 grid.
“I was asked at the weekend who I felt from Formula 2 deserved a crack at Formula 1 and I had to be honest and say I hadn’t really followed Formula 2 closely enough to really have a strong view on it,” Coulthard said on the podcast Formula For Success.
Doohan, a member of the Alpine Academy, has enjoyed a handful of outings in F1 machinery thus far. Perhaps most notably, he participated in free practice 1 at both the Mexico City and Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
His performance at Abu Dhabi was the strongest of the two practice outings, with Doohan placing 13th fastest overall. Despite that fact, Coulthard admitted that the Australian has caught his attention.
“I keep a keen eye on Jack Doohan because our friend Mick Doohan is someone that I used to train with, a great champion in motorcycles,” said Coulthard.
“His son Jack is part of the Alpine Academy as their test and reserve driver and I know he’s fit enough, the guy’s an animal in the [Michael] Schumacher sense of being fit.
“It would be great to see him break out, but today, there are not enough opportunities for younger drivers.”
What’s next for Doohan?
The 2023 season marked Doohan’s final year in F2, as he made the decision to depart the series. It was a sensational year for him after ending the season with three race wins to his name.
There are no F1 prospects lined up in 2024 for Doohan, with no changes made to the grid, so there are no opportunities to join the sport for F2′s most successful drivers which former team boss Eddie Jordan raised.
“You ask yourself, where can [Doohan] go?” said Jordan. “Two French drivers [at Alpine] in a French team with a French engine, come on, are they going to sack one of the drivers to put an Aussie in?
“Do I see a way in for him at Alpine? It will be a big ask because I think both of those drivers did enough at Alpine to stay in there, if anything it was the car that let them down.”