The start of Jack Doohan’s sophomore Formula 2 season has failed to meet expectations, but the Virtuosi Racing driver hopes to be back on track after an impressive Barcelona test.
Speaking to Formula Scout, the Alpine junior admitted that he and his team’s current situation had been “quite difficult” to accept.
“I was coming from last year, being a rookie in Bahrain, and putting it on pole by a healthy margin and coming back, feeling more prepared and really going into it into more depth and really hoping to maximise this year,” he said.
“Unfortunately things outside of my control and, to be honest, the team’s control meant that we were just very off the pace and quite far behind.
“That was difficult to take from my side and from theirs, and a little bit better in Jeddah with it being more high-speed based and not very, only a couple of big breaking zones. But it’s been very difficult and hard to try to understand really what’s been going on as it’s been very, very strange.
“And something that wasn’t just costing us a few tenths or half a second, it was putting us over a second outside the window which, in all honesty, I think if you put everyone on this grid in a set-up that they were comfortable with, I don’t think any of them would be more than a second off, each one of them.”
The in-season test at Barcelona was all about getting to the bottom of the issues and trying to solve them. Despite making a significant improvement across the three days of running, the Australian wants to keep his feet on the ground.
“We’ve been trying to eliminate a lot of stuff every time we go out on track and I’m hoping that we have found something today. But I’m not just getting my hopes up because I want to see it on the race weekend.
“Get comfortable, get confidence in the car back and really try and get back to where we were,” Doohan said about the targets he and Virtuosi had set for their three days on track.
“It’s all sort of the feeling and how the car is behaving and really try and make sure that we’re getting same results and same data and numbers that we were getting last year on the same set-ups of the same track.
“Obviously, there’s always going to be a variety depending on temperature, track, but everything’s been very largely out of the window, unfortunately.”