Alpine boss reveals if struggling driver has a ‘future’ with the team

Alpine team boss Otmar Szafnauer has commented on the driver's struggles this year.

Alpine team principal Otmar Szafnauer has reaffirmed his unwavering confidence in Jack Doohan, despite the young Australian’s difficult start to the F2 season. 

As Alpine’s reserve driver, Doohan simultaneously competes in the F2 Championship, which serves as the primary feeder series to Formula 1, while supporting Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly at Alpine.

Doohan, a former Red Bull Junior Team driver, was considered a strong title contender this season driving for the Virtuosi team. 

However, his campaign has been plagued by struggles, and he currently sits in 12th place in the championship standings, trailing leader Frederik Vesti by a significant 70-point margin. 

Want to work in Formula 1? Browse the latest F1 job vacancies

Despite this setback, signs of improvement have emerged, with Doohan showcasing his pace in the recent races in Spain, securing a fifth and a sixth-place finish at Catalunya.

Szafnauer remains steadfast in his belief in Doohan’s abilities and asserts that the young driver is now adapting more effectively to his car. 

“Jack, at the beginning, he struggled a bit with his car,” Szafnauer explained in an interview with Speedcafe.

“He wasn’t comfortable in the car, and as of late, that’s changed, and it shows in his competitiveness.”

Article continues below

Recognised as a highly promising talent in the world of motorsport, Doohan’s acquisition by Alpine as their reserve driver at the start of 2023 underscored his potential. 

In the previous season, he achieved a commendable sixth-place finish in the championship, securing three victories out of 28 races. 

READ: Audi sign first driver for Formula 1 team

Although Doohan has yet to rediscover the same level of form, Szafnauer continues to support him and envisions a future in Formula 1.

“We continue to prepare him for Formula 1, and he’s also doing our program of running a two-year-old Formula 1 car,” Szafnauer disclosed. 

“He’s a good racing driver and works really hard, [he’s] intelligent, and he’s got a future ahead of him.”