Is Alpine reserve Jack Doohan ready for Formula 1?

Esteban Ocon has given Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan his vote of confidence as the 21-year-old eyes a future in Formula 1.

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In the wake of Formula 2 driver Oliver Bearman’s last-minute Formula 1 debut at the 2024 Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, attention is now on the junior drivers hoping to break out into the world of F1.

Jack Doohan finished third in the 2023 F2 championship but no one was promoted to F1 for 2024 and the 21-year-old is currently not racing in any series.

Doohan, who is the son of five-time 500cc motorbike world champion Mick Doohan, is Alpine‘s reserve driver and Esteban Ocon was asked whether he believed the Australian was ready for F1.

“We’ve seen some good stuff from the F2 guys recently, and obviously Jack has driven with them and won races,” said Ocon. “No doubt that Jack deserves to drive more in Formula 1, deserves to have a shot at least in F1 in one race.”

Jack Doohan, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon ahead of 2024 F1 season | Alpine F1 Team

Ocon: A shame to not see Doohan racing

Since departing F2 at the end of the 2023 season, Doohan has turned his attention fully to his duties as reserve driver and has his sights set on a career in F1.

Doohan has no F1 prospects lined up in his immediate future. But with both Pierre Gasly and Ocon’s contracts with Alpine up for renewal at the end of the 2024 season, he will be eager to search for a way into the French team. 

Spaces in the F1 paddock are limited though, and competition for a seat is fierce, meaning that junior drivers are left waiting for their F1 debut. 

Whilst unusual circumstances handed Bearman the opportunity to race in his first F1 Grand Prix, Doohan – like the majority of junior drivers – has only participated in a handful of free practice and test sessions. 

Ocon was complimentary of Doohan’s contributions to Alpine in his role as a reserve driver. 

“He’s obviously helping a lot with the simulator work that he’s doing with the team and he’s a great asset to us and a great character and team player as well,” said Ocon.

“He’s done some really good work when he stepped in in FP1 in Mexico and Abu Dhabi in the last two years and it’s a shame not to see him racing definitely and I wish him the best for the future.”

Jasmine Hughes
Jasmine Hughes
Experienced in digital content creation, Jasmine Hughes has written for a number of online publications, joining Total Motorsports in 2024. She previously served as FormulaNerds' Formula E Editor, leading coverage of the 2023 Formula E season. Jasmine has been watching Formula 1 since the age of 4, after falling in love with Fernando Alonso's blue-yellow Renault R25.
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