Home Featured Virtuosi team principal Roche: ‘We are in the F2 title fight’

Virtuosi team principal Roche: ‘We are in the F2 title fight’

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Jack Doohan’s back-to-back Formula 2 feature race victories at the Hungaroring and Spa-Francorchamps have brought the Virtuosi Racing driver back into the title fight.

The Alpine junior is now 38 points behind ART Grand Prix’s championship leader Theo Pourchaire. It is a gap that could be overcome in the next race weekend, and Pourchaire has gone 18 races without winning.

Formula Scout spoke to Virtuosi’s team principal Andy Roche in the paddock at Spa after Doohan’s victory to discover what were the team’s aspirations for the last three rounds.

“[We are feeling] very good as a team. We’ve got a proper run on now and we’ve got the pace. We’re going to challenge for the championship, for sure,” Roche affirmed.

“At Zandvoort last year, Jack was really quick, Monza we were really quick and Abu Dhabi. So I don’t see a reason why we can’t just carry that on. I think we’re stronger now than we were this time last year, so I’m quite hopeful.”

Roche also referred to Virtuosi’s struggles earlier this season and although he would not comment on the specific issues, he said that team unity helped keep morale high and to find the solutions, and also praised Doohan for his contribution.

“It has been okay, to be honest. The team has been together a long time. The same personnel have been here for a long, long time and we all sort of dig in and got through it, and it’s paying off. It hasn’t been that difficult. We just kept working hard.

“Jack is really, really good to be fair. Even when we were struggling at the beginning of the year, he stayed calm and collected and worked with the team and he’s been really strong. Jack is the complete package now. He really is.”

Doohan himself was more cautious regarding his chances of becoming champion, but recognised that 38 points is not an insurmountable deficit.

“I think so, for sure,” he said when asked in the post-race press conference. “I’m not in a pressure situation either. I’ve had a lot of things, unfortunately, out of my control this year. But luckily with determination, resilience, we were able to fight our way back after being five rounds ago in [14th] in the championship. So we’ll keep pushing. It’s still an almighty gap. Theo is an awesome driver doing an exceptional job as well, so is Enzo [Fittipaldi, third in the race]. So I’m going to continue to fight, and if we can do it, then I’d love to.”

He then followed in conversation with Formula Scout: “I think it’s open. Whether I’m going to get it or not, I’m not really focusing on that. I’m just focusing on weekend by weekend. I’m still a little bit of a distance away, but I’m going to continue to try and replicate this. And if I can win every feature race for the rest of the year, then that should put us in a good position.”