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Doohan set for first F1 test with Alpine in Qatar

By Megan White

The FIA Formula 2 driver, who finished runner-up in last year's FIA Formula 3 championship, will test at the Losail International Circuit this weekend in a 2021-spec A521 chassis. 

The 19-year-old, whose father is motorcycle racing legend Mick Doohan, joined the F1 team’s academy in January ahead of his debut F2 season with Virtuosi Racing having previously been affiliated with Red Bull. 

Doohan joins 2021 F2 champion and Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri at the test, with his fellow Australian having completed two days of testing on Wednesday and Thursday. 

Piastri previously tested the 2021 car in Austin in April, and will get further running in Spielberg after the Spanish and Monaco Grands Prix. 

Doohan said: “I’m super excited to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time.  

“This is a moment that I’ve been building up to ever since I started racing karts, and I know these opportunities are extremely privileged.  

“I’m very grateful to Alpine for the opportunity and I’m looking forward to giving it my best on the test day.  

“I’ve watched behind the scenes at some private tests before and I’ve completed a lot of preparation in the loop simulator at Enstone, so I’m definitely feeling ready for this challenge.  

“I’ll build myself up on the day, enjoy it at the same time and hopefully learn as much as possible alongside the team.” 

Oscar Piastri has been testing this week with Alpine in the team's 2021 car (Photo by: Alpine)

Doohan has had a difficult start to his maiden F2 season, having only scored six points in three rounds. 

He took pole position at the season opener in Bahrain, but immediately after his pitstop suffered wing damage in contact with championship leader Theo Pourchaire and was forced to return to the pits - ultimately finishing 10th.  

He was set to line up third for the feature race in Saudi Arabia, but was disqualified from qualifying when his team was unable to supply enough fuel from his car. From the back of the grid, he recovered to ninth place. 

More bad luck followed in Imola, as a startline collision with 2021 F3 champion Dennis Hauger ended both of their races.

F2 returns next weekend in Barcelona in support of the Spanish Grand Prix on 20-22 May. 

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Dive Deeper:
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