Jack Doohan reckons he is on course for a strong weekend in Barcelona, having qualified in third place despite playing a rather conservative strategy.
The Virtuosi Racing driver was happy to be on the pace straightaway after his Monaco crash resulted in a chassis change ahead of Formula 2’s round in Spain.
“At the beginning it was going to be the same as Prema,” the Alpine junior explained about his qualifying strategy. “But then just with things not really exactly going perfectly this year, it was better just to get a lap on the board, first off, and not have a red flag or not have something happen that could potentially put our session at risk.
“So we went together with everybody at the start, and the first one I think we were four tenths clear before MP went out and did their second run. So our pace was clearly very strong. And I then got a little bit compromised due to cars – a lot of people actually did their second runs at various points in the latter stage of that session, which put us a little bit out of sync.
“But in the end, I think we had a really good track position, we were the last crossing the line. So if you take track evolution into the equation, we had the best possible position, but unfortunately it just didn’t come together. And with such small margins, we’re P3.”
The strong pace showed in spite of the setbacks gives Doohan hope for achieving good results in both the sprint and feature race as he aims to reduce the points gap to the top of the standings.
“Yeah, it’s great [to be strong in Barcelona]. It was very difficult in Monaco, especially to take, because so many things have been outside of my control. And I was very frustrated myself because everything’s unfortunately been out of my control for quite a while. And I just shunted. That’s in your control, and that was on me,” he admitted.
“So that was difficult to take. But taking the positives forward from the weekend was that I finally had something underneath me that I could deliver with, and really be back to where I know I could be. So that was positive.
“And coming into here, we had a great test here, obviously with the car back together, and I knew that we were going to be in a great position for today. So like I said, a little bit disappointing to under-deliver, but I think our race pace is very strong. So I look forward to giving it another go tomorrow and on Sunday.”