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Alpine F1 Team

Alpine confirm 'option' to replace departing Ocon

This driver would appear to be the logical choice but will he get the chance he craves?

Bruno Famin
To news overview © XPBimages

Jack Doohan has been confirmed as "an option" for Alpine as it explores who will replace the departing Esteban Ocon.

In the build-up to the weekend's Canadian Grand Prix, Alpine confirmed Ocon will be leaving the team at the end of the season after what will be five years with the Enstone-based organisation, with the partnership running its course, according to team boss Bruno Famin.

With manufacturer backing, the vacant seat is prized in F1, with Doohan understood to be leading the way, primarily due to his three-year affiliation with the team as its reserve.

The son of five-time 500cc motorbike champion Mike Doohan, Jack has participated in a number of practice sessions with Alpine. The 21-year-old took over the cockpit from Ocon for FP1 in Canada, although the wet conditions conspired against him, resulting in him being unable to set a timed lap.

Famin, though, has promised Doohan will be given another FP1 opportunity later this year, strengthening his hand when it comes to the final decision.

As to the possibility of Doohan being handed a full-time seat for 2025 and beyond, Famin told Sky Sports F1: "He's an option for sure. Jack is an option.

"We are preparing him, he has been testing for a long time. He has quite a heavy testing programme and we're happy with that, and let's see how he develops. He is one possibility, among others, but he is a possibility for sure."

Suggested to Doohan, though, he was now a certainty for the seat given Ocon's exit, he said: "It's difficult to say in Formula 1 that anything is for certain.

"My dream is to be on the grid, my dream is to be in Formula 1. I'm with the team as reserve driver preparing myself to be in the car. That is where I want to be.

"Every time I get to do that, whether it is the sim or on track, experiencing myself in marketing, with comms, I'm trying to position myself to get that opportunity."

As to whether he is ready for a drive in F1, particularly with all the testing mileage he has completed, he replied: "Very!

"That previous mileage is very high in the '21 car, then two days in the '22 car, and I felt very comfortable coming in [for the practice in Canada]. I felt very complete, there was no fear, not feeling out of my comfort zone.

"Luckily I've been able to show what I can do in those tests which are much longer, and we were able to make it happen." 

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