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Doohan Hungary

F2: Doohan hopeful for Spa after success in Hungary

Jack Doohan was a three-time race winner in Formula 2 last year, but struggled in the early stages of the 2023 season. Now, after the Feature Race in Hungary, Doohan has gotten back on track with his fourth victory

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Jack Doohan had a disappointing start to the 2023 Formula 2 season, but after hard work and rebuilding his, and the team’s, confidence, he’s back on track, taking the victory in Hungary during the Feature Race. 

Race winner Jack Doohan celebrates in parc ferme during the Round 10:Budapest Feature race of the Formula 2 Championship at Hungaroring. (Photo by Joe Portlock – Formula 1/Formula Motorsport Limited via Getty Images)

Formula 2 raced in Budapest last weekend for Round 10 of the 2023 season. Before the weekend, Invicta Virtuosi Racing’s Jack Doohan had had a lacklustre season, in all honesty. The Australian, who won three races in his rookie F2 season last year, had only stood on the podium twice.

Doohan secured P2 in the Feature Race in Jeddah, Round Two of the season and earlier this month at Silverstone, he finished P3 in the Sprint Race. After three DNFs and not the start to the season he would’ve liked, Doohan has now gotten back on track.

On Friday, Doohan took pole position in Budapest, which he converted into a race win. The young Aussie dominated the Feature Race from start to finish, and has admitted he feels a lot better now than previously.

Doohan spoke to media, including FormulaNerds, in the post-race press conference. He reflected on the season so far, the development the team have made but also how it feels to finally have gotten a win.

‘Super happy’ but eyes on Spa already

Doohan told the media that whilst he’s very happy with the result of the Feature Race, he’s focusing on the next round already. He said:

“I’m super happy with the race. It was really cool. Actually, to be the last car boxing, starting on the primary strategy, the option, just shows that the communication we had, the management, was awesome.

“Also the car was hooked up so to do that was really nice. To be in control in that situation is a nice place to be, so I’m super happy with the race.

“But to be honest, I’m already eyes on Spa to see if we can take a further step forward.”

In 2022, Doohan achieved a Sprint Race win in Budapest, followed by a Feature Race win in Spa. With his latest victory, Doohan is hopeful to echo last year and keep improving. The Australian spoke further, elaborating on the difficulties the team have faced so far and how they turned it around to have success in Hungary

“It’s been a difficult start to the season. Unfortunately, working from the start with a car that wasn’t right, that had a fundamental issue, everything that we worked on, balance of a race car and quali car was just completely off.

“So that when we got the car in the window, in Barcelona we found it, the big issue, we were almost starting from scratch again unfortunately. It took us, only to be honest, Monaco and Barcelona to get a strong race car.

“And then even after the Sprint Race at Red Bull Ring, we were able to get on top of the race car. Since then I think we’ve been really strong in both quali and the race.

“Now we’re in that sweet spot, I feel, so hopefully we can take another step forward.”

Losing confidence as a driver

Doohan told media in the press conference that when things aren’t going quite right, you start to lose confidence. He said that himself and the team have worked “very long hours” to “try and get on top of” the issues they had.

He explained: “But there was something that wasn’t balance related, that wasn’t obviously going to cure. So you start to lose faith and confidence as a driver a little bit and also my engineer and the team.

“But once we were able to get back and I had a good feeling in Barcelona after the massive change, step-by-step we slowly started to build up that confidence again, and so did my engineer.

“I really like when he’s confident, when he knows he’s comfortable with the decision he’s going to make with the car. And I had faith in him, I did after FP, I did after yesterday [Saturday].

“And when we sort of have that connection together, I think having that confidence is better than two-tenths of car balance in my opinion. I feel we’re back in a good stage and look forward to continuing this.”

Now after his victory, Doohan is now fifth in the Drivers’ Standings. He has 100 points, 53 points off Frederik Vesti, the championship leader. With Spa next week, will Doohan keep improving and take another race win?

Headline Image: GettyImages

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