Home Featured Doohan and Virtuosi overcame F2 car with “a fundamental issue” to win

Doohan and Virtuosi overcame F2 car with “a fundamental issue” to win

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Jack Doohan claimed a long-awaited first Formula 2 win of 2023 at the Hungaroring after he and Virtuosi Racing overcame a “fundamental issue” with their car.

The Alpine junior started from pole and achieved the incredibly rare feat of leading every lap and taking fastest lap.

“I’m not in a title-contending position at this point in time, but I look forward to putting myself in that position very soon. I’ll be going full gas and going for the win,” he said after Friday’s qualifying.

“It was a difficult start of the season, unfortunately, working from the start with a car that wasn’t right, that had a fundamental issue. Everything that we worked on balance for a race car, for a qualifying car, was just completely off.”

After getting the “car in the window” at Barcelona testing, they “found the big issue” and “were almost starting from scratch again” thereon.

Doohan believed he personally has “been capable” of winning, but did not show it until today. He had strong pace straight away while also managing his tyres, and made the soft compound rubber last an unprecedented 24 laps before pitting in the 37-lap race.

“For the first eight to 10 laps, I was in a very safe window. I didn’t want to really extend the gap actually too much and then have to box. So I was happy keeping it at around one second or slightly in my DRS [range]. I knew if I needed to, I could push a little bit more,” he said to media afterwards.

As “the option [tyres] started to degrade and the prime [tyre] started to get a little bit better”, Doohan opted to push more and believes he “could keep that pace the whole time”.

“When I started to lose the rear, I started to push the front a little bit more to equal out the balance. So we went quite long, and even when I boxed really, it was only because [podium finishers Frederik Vesti and Victor Martins] had both boxed. We were the only one not to box, but I could have extended my stint on the soft at that same pace. And in the end, the pace on the medium was very strong.”

Doohan admitted to Formula Scout that confidence had faded with his tough start to 2023, but now it has returned.

“Sure it’s difficult. We were working, day and night, very long hours to try and get on top of the issue, trying almost everything we possibly could. But there was something that wasn’t balance-related that we couldn’t [fix].”

“You start to lose faith and confidence as a driver a little bit, and also my engineer and the team.

“I had a good feeling at Barcelona after a massive change, then step-by-step we slowly started to build up that confidence again. And so does my engineer.  I really like when he’s confident, he knows that he’s confident with the decision that he’s going to make with the car.”

Doohan had faith in his engineer after Friday and Saturday’s showings, and “when we have that connection together, I think having that confidence is better than three tenths of car balance”.

“I feel we’re back in a good stage, and look forward to continuing this,” he concluded.