Australian Jack Doohan, son of five-time world motorcycling champion Mick, is a candidate to replace Fernando Alonso at Renault’s Alpine Formula One team, according to managing director Laurent Rossi. The 19-year-old is doing well in his rookie Formula 2 championship season and is a member of the Alpine drivers’ academy.
Rossi told website www.formula1.com that Doohan was a consideration, although fourth-placed Alpine would prefer someone more experienced who could score big points immediately. “We believe in him, he’s shown a lot of potential, especially lately – talk about being there at the right time,” Rossi said.
“He’s a great person, he’s fast, his dad is also a champion that I look up to and a person that I look up to. One way or another we’ll try to put him in an F1 at a given time.” Mick Doohan was 500cc world champion, before this category became MotoGP, from 1994 to 1998.
Rossi, however, said Alpine was “once bitten, twice shy” after the recent contract dispute with Australian reserve driver and 2021 Formula 2 champion Oscar Piastri who signed for McLaren for 2023. Alpine had spent a lot to prepare Piastri and had planned to loan him to Williams, in the same way Mercedes did with George Russell.
“We will honor our commitment to all the drivers in our academy, but we are wondering whether to continue or not,” Rossi said. “We are torn. We believe in the value of the system but if we are not protected, is it worth it?… We wonder. It’s a big disappointment. Maybe a big confrontation with reality.”
Experienced French driver and race winner Pierre Gasly is considered Alpine’s first choice to replace two-time world champion Fernando Alonso, who will move to Aston Martin next year, alongside Esteban Ocon. Gasly’s departure from Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri hinges on Red Bull’s permission to sign US IndyCar driver Colton Herta, who doesn’t have enough points for a super-licence and would need clearance FIA special.
Indications from the governing body indicate that they will stick to the rules. “I think if it’s not Colton Herta, then Pierre Gasly will stay and nothing will change,” AlphaTauri boss Franz Tost told reporters.
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