Aussie Jack Doohan to take Alpine driver’s spot at Canadian Grand Prix in F1 audition

Aussie Jack Doohan to take Alpine driver’s spot at Canadian Grand Prix in F1 audition
  • PublishedJune 6, 2024

Australia’s Jack Doohan will get a taste of Formula One action when he drives for Alpine during a practice session at this weekend’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Alpine announced the 21-year-old reserve driver would take Esteban Ocon’s place during Friday’s opening free practice session (FP1) at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles Villneuve.

F1’s rules state teams must run a rookie — a driver who has started two Grands Prix or fewer — in two FP1 sessions each season.

Doohan has driven in four practice sessions as an Alpine junior, twice in Mexico and Abu Dhabi in 2022 and 2023.

“Really excited to get out on track in Montreal for FP1,” said Doohan on his FP1 opportunity in Canada.

“It will be my first time driving at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, which I am looking forward to.

“I am grateful to the team for the opportunity to get more track time, and also familiarise myself with 2024 machinery early in the season. This will also help with the work I am doing in the simulator, particularly at the European rounds.

“My focus will be on doing the best for the team and maximising the session for both drivers, looking at certain test items and understanding the new track surface.”

A former FIA Formula 3 runner-up and the third-placed driver in last year’s F2 standings, Doohan, the son of five-time MotoGP world champion Mick Doohan, has long been touted as a future F1 driver and could become the latest Aussie to join the grid next year.

This week Alpine announced they were parting ways with Ocon at season’s end, bringing the Frenchman’s five-year stint with the team to a close.

Ocon claimed his sole victory at the 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, but his partnership with teammate Pierre Gasly has been tense on track — notably when he caused a race-ending crash by attempting to overtake Gasly at last month’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Is it an F1 audition for the Aussie youngster? (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Is it an F1 audition for the Aussie youngster? (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Esteban Ocon is leaving Alpine at the end of the year. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Esteban Ocon is leaving Alpine at the end of the year. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Alpine have endured a dismal season so far and sit equal ninth in the constructors’ standings with just two championship points.

Mick Schumacher, Yuki Tsuonda, Liam Lawson, Valtteri Bottas, Zhou Guanyu, Felipe Drugovich and Victor Martins are other options to take Ocon’s spot.

The 2025 F1 grid is beginning to take shape, with Red Bull confirming Sergio Perez would remain with the world champions for a further two years through to the end of the 2026 season.

Perez’s contract extension effectively shuts the door on Daniel Ricciardo’s hopes of a fairytale return to Red Bull, while all eyes are now on where Ferrari discard Carlos Sainz chooses to go.

The grid did not change in last year’s off-season, but there is expected to be significant driver turnover in this year’s ‘silly season’.

Highly touted youngsters and academy prospects including Red Bull reserve Lawson, Ferrari’s Ollie Bearman and Mercedes junior Andrea Kimi Antonelli could all be on the grid soon.

Logan Sargeant, Bottas, Zhou, Kevin Magnussen and Pierre Gasly are under pressure to keep their seats.

SOURCE: NEWS.COM

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