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Doohan: F2 battle mentally difficult

Jack Doohan has admitted his battle at the start of the 2023 Formula 2 season has been difficult

Jack Doohan has admitted his battle at the start of the 2023 Formula 2 season has been difficult

Jack Doohan has conceded his battle through a tough start to the 2023 Formula 2 campaign has taken its toll.

Driving for Virtuosi, the young Australian battled through the opening four rounds of the season before making gains during a test at Barcelona.

Doohan was back on form in Monaco before an uncharacteristic mistake saw him crash out in the feature race, after feeling he could have secured pole position in qualifying.

In Spain last weekend, the 20-year-old qualified third and banked two points-paying positions – only the second time he has managed it this season.

Doohan’s struggles come off the back of a stellar debut campaign in the category last year that saw him score three wins and mount a challenge for the championship.

“It’s been difficult,” Doohan conceded of the mental challenge he has faced this year.

“It hasn’t been the easiest, that’s for sure, but I have a great group of people behind me.

“I have a great team with Virtuosi and also a great Formula 1 support team with Alpine and they were very understanding and knew exactly what was going on.”

Doohan remains part of the Alpine Academy and is set to join the squad in his reserve driver role at the Canadian Grand Prix in two weeks.

It is a position he formally picked up at the start of the year after plugging the gap left by Oscar Piastri following his decision to join McLaren.

Whilst a boost for Doohan, it is a double-edged sword as it comes with expectations, with Alpine’s F1 team principal Otmar Szafnauer setting an F2 championship tilt as the target for 2023.

Further complicating Doohan’s cause has been the emergence of another member of the Alpine Academy, Victor Martins.

The Frenchman has finished on the podium on four occasions, most recently with two third-place results in Spain.

Whilst the pressure has undeniably increased this year, it has offered Doohan an opportunity to develop in areas he perhaps would not have done otherwise.

“I know I hadn’t forgotten how to drive and outside of that things were still strong,” he said.

“So I think I have to take any positives where I can and potentially it might have found where I have slight weaknesses that I could work on.

“I’m hoping that going forward, I can now be even more on top of my game and better than I was.”

Despite the slow start, he still has eyes on this year’s championship, despite sitting 12th in the standings, 70 points behind leader Frederik Vesti with seven rounds remaining.

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