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‘My dream is to be on the grid’ – Doohan adamant he is ready for F1 as he eyes vacant Alpine seat

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MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 06: Jack Doohan of Australia and Alpine F1 arrives in the Paddock during

Alpine reserve driver Jack Doohan feels he is “very” ready to be in Formula 1, amid continued speculation over who could fill Esteban Ocon’s soon-to-be vacant seat at the squad in 2025.

It was confirmed ahead of the Canadian Grand Prix that Ocon will part ways with the team at the end of the season after a five-year stint together, with both his and the outfit’s future plans for next year yet to be announced.

READ MORE: Famin talks up Alpine juniors as he says team have ‘no stress’ over 2025 options

The news then followed that Doohan would get behind the wheel of Ocon’s car for the opening free practice hour in Montreal, though mixed weather conditions ultimately resulted in the Australian having only limited running in the session.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 afterwards, Doohan was quizzed on whether the decision had been taken for him to participate in FP1 at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve due to the venue being one that there is no testing at, meaning that any track time could be good preparation for a future spot on the grid.

“I think just getting mileage at a circuit like this where there is obviously no testing on the circuit [is good],” the 21-year-old responded. “But with the situation that was arising, with a five-place grid drop [for Ocon], obviously [the track] being very green...

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 07: Jack Doohan of Australia driving the (61) Alpine F1 A524 Renault on

Doohan's running during FP1 in Montreal was limited due to the mixed weather conditions

“[Like] Mexico, it’s a super tricky FP1, slick circuit, nothing running on it all year and it’s similar to here in Montreal, so I think it worked in everyone’s favour. In the end it worked perfectly for them and especially for Esteban.”

Pushed further on whether he was a favourite for the vacancy at Alpine in 2025 given his position as the outfit’s reserve driver, Doohan played this down but spoke of his intentions of getting a race seat going forwards.

READ MORE: Famin explains Ocon’s exit from Alpine and responds to Canadian GP ‘punishment’ rumours

“It’s difficult to say anything with Formula 1 is for certain,” he explained. “My dream is to be on the grid, my dream is to be in Formula 1. I’m here with the team as a reserve driver preparing myself to be in the car.

“That is where I want to be, and every time I get to do that, whether it’s the sim or on track, experiencing myself with marketing, in comms, I’m trying to position myself to get that opportunity. Nothing is for certain, there’s no givens, but I want to be there.”

MONTREAL, QUEBEC - JUNE 06: Jack Doohan of Australia and Alpine F1 has a seat fitting in the garage

Doohan says he felt "very comfortable" entering into FP1 in Canada off the back of other testing sessions with Alpine

As well as participating in FP1 sessions, Doohan has taken part in testing for the team using their 2021 and 2022-spec cars, something that he believes added to his sense of self-assuredness ahead of jumping in the A524 in Montreal.

Asked if he is ready to drive in Formula 1, the F2 graduate answered: “Very. I think that previous mileage has been very, very high in the ’21 car, and two days in the ’22 car. I felt very comfortable coming into today [for FP1 in Canada].

ANALYSIS: What next for Esteban Ocon and Alpine after his exit?

“Previously coming to FP you have nerves, you feel you’re jumping up from Formula 2, so there’s a lot of emotion, whereas coming into today I felt very complete, there was no fear, there was nothing about feeling out of my comfort zone.

“I really felt that even with the test times we were going to run that I could actually hop in and have a crack and really do something good. But, in the end, we didn’t obviously get to do that and it’s a little bit unfortunate, but that is how it is.

"I’ve been able to show what I can do in those tests which are much longer, more time than an hour for the weather window!”

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