The Alpine Formula 1 team has announced that its reserve driver Jack Doohan will drive in the first practice sessions of the Mexico City and Abu Dhabi grands prix.
Teams are mandated to run drivers with less three F1 starts to their name in two practice sessions each season, and Doohan performed the same role for Alpine at the same events last year.
Since 2021 he has been racing in Formula 2, and has five wins from 57 starts. He is currently in contention to finish 2023 as championship runner-up. During this year he has also done private F1 testing with Alpine as part of his reserve role.
“It is a huge honour to be given the opportunity to drive a F1 car on a grand prix weekend for the second year in a row. I am very grateful to Alpine for the chance to drive the A523 in free practice in both Mexico and Abu Dhabi,” said Doohan.
“I have been working really hard with the team this year as their reserve driver, taking every opportunity to learn as much as possible for them and I feel prepared to step up and take over driving duties for the team. My sole focus is doing what is required of me by the team in order to contribute positively to the team’s outcome across the two grand prix weekends.”
In one outing Doohan will take over the car of Pierre Gasly, then in the other he will drive the car being raced by Esteban Ocon.
Alpine’s interim team principal Bruno Famin commented: “It is great to announce that Jack will be taking over driving duties in Mexico and Abu Dhabi for the two free practice sessions. Jack has worked hard over the course of the year as Alpine’s reserve driver and his attitude to learn the ropes in that role has been very pleasing to see. His main priority remains finishing his F2 campaign in the best possible way in Abu Dhabi, however, we look forward to supporting him in the two free practice sessions and having his contribution to the team’s performance.”
F2’s schedule for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix weekend is yet to be released, but it is likely that Doohan will not have too much time to rest between F2 practice, F1 practice and then F2 qualifying on the Friday of the event.