Rising Australian motorsport star Jack Doohan says his first taste of Formula 1® machinery earlier this month has whetted his appetite for more and will benefit his first full-time Formula 2® campaign with Virtuosi Racing this season.
Doohan, son of five-time world 500cc motorcycle champion Mick Doohan, joined the Alpine Academy this year. The 19-year-old earned his maiden F2® podium when he finished second in last weekend's feature race in Barcelona, with F2® on the undercard for the Spanish Formula 1® Grand Prix.
A week earlier, Doohan cut his first laps in F1® machinery when he sampled last year's Alpine A521 car at the Losail International Circuit in Qatar.
Speaking to the Australian Grand Prix's In the Fast Lane podcast, Doohan said driving an F1® car for the first time was "a really cool experience".
"Everything is just times 10, to be honest … absolutely everything is just better," he said.
"There were elements that I knew were going to be extreme, but then when it actually happened it still surprised me. The braking performance (of an F1® car) is just obscene. It's just absolutely unbelievable and something that you prepare for … you know it's going to be good but predicting that was just not possible.
"The amount of downforce into entry on even slow to medium-speed corners, how much speed you can just throw in, was outrageous."
Doohan feels joining Alpine, home to fellow Australian and F1® team reserve driver Oscar Piastri, will help fast-track his progression towards the top flight in the longer-term, and benefit him more immediately in F2®, the F1® feeder series that Piastri won in 2021.
"This is everything that wanted to make me join, not just obviously 'you can drive a Formula 1® car', but everything that led up to the Formula 1® test, the time at the factory, the race sim support, the 2023 car development," Doohan said.
"The main thing that really pushed me to join Alpine was to be able to know I can grow more as a driver. There's so many things that are happening in the lap in the Formula 1® car, and I took that as an advantage when I came back to Formula 2®. It really helped slow everything down and really give me more time to think for what I'm doing now."
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