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Doohan on his Spa success: “I was in bed last night manifesting a win”

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan claimed his second victory of the 2023 Formula 2 season in the Spa-Francorchamps feature race from 11th on the grid.

The Alpine junior exceeded his team’s expectations, but not his own. After qualifying on Friday, he told Formula Scout that “I’d still be aiming for the win on Sunday”, a feeling that was reinforced after driving to fifth place in Saturday’s sprint race.

“The team thought if we had a good race this morning, that I could get fifth, and maybe even a little bit better,” Doohan told the media after the feature race. “But I was in bed last night manifesting a win.”

Afterwards, he explained Formula Scout in the paddock why he was fully confident of claiming victory:

“The connection, the click that I have with me, the team and the car right now is really strong. So I felt it on. On Friday free practice, on normalised pace we were seven tenths clear of anyone and in the wet, and I was confident as well for the dry.

“You have to keep faith, which I did, and you have to remain optimistic. I had a bit of luck [because of the safety car], but I did put myself in the position for luck to work.”

Doohan was visibly pleased with his day’s work, as he reduced the gap to the top of the standings to 38 points.

“I got a good, not a decent initial launch, but a decent second phase. I had decided to go on the medium [compound tyres] and had a good turn one. Ralph Boschung hit safety mode on the exit of turn one and had to hit the brakes and unfortunately got passed by a few cars. But that was all right, I recovered well, I still ended up P9 [on lap one].

“I was content, you could say, but it just took me a little bit longer than I wanted to get past Isack Hadjar on the option tyres. So that was a little bit annoying.”

He finally overtook the Hitech GP driver on lap eight of 25 at the Fagnes chicane, after having a much better exit from Pouhon than his rival did.

“I lost quite a bit of time there, but still we were then fastest on track on the medium. We were driving a great race, it was looking good and then I got a good timing with the safety car and I was able to get my pitstop and came out on the option in P2. From there, got the lead on Theo two laps after the restart and fastest lap of the race.

“Happy days,” he concluded.