Alpine Academy driver Jack Doohan has revealed that Esteban Ocon issued him with a clear instruction ahead of the youngster's Free Practice 1 debut at the Mexican Grand Prix. Doohan got behind the wheel of Ocon's Alpine to make his first F1 weekend appearance at the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez. With Ocon having had a difficult experience of handing his car over in the past, Doohan was cautious about not causing any damage to the equipment. "When [Ocon] last left his car for an FP1, I think it was here in Mexico 2017, and the driver that he let drive his car put it in the wall in Turn 13," Doohan told media, including RacingNews365.com . "So from last weekend, he was like, 'Do not crash my car'. "Honestly, every time I came out [the] exit at Turn 13 and through 14, I had Esteban in my head going, 'Do not crash this car!'"
Doohan reflects on relationship with Alonso
As well as working alongside Ocon at Alpine, Doohan has also enjoyed getting to know two-time World Champion Fernando Alonso. Formula 2 star Doohan joined the team's junior squad earlier in 2022, having previously been a part of the Red Bull Junior Team since 2017. This means that the 19-year-old has had the opportunity to work with Alonso, whose F1 career began before Doohan had even been born, something that the teenager acknowledges but does not plan to mention to Alonso. "I think he was in Formula 1 when I was born," Doohan commented. "I haven't [told him that] – I don't think I'll say that!"
Doohan: I can always speak to Alonso
Despite the generation gap, Doohan says that he has enjoyed a good relationship with 41-year-old Alonso during their time at Alpine. "It's very cool,' he explained. "He's such an amazing guy, super relaxed, and has been always there. I know I can always speak to him. He's one of the first guys to always say hello in the morning, and say bye when he leaves. "We can have a bit of banter." Alonso was on hand to offer some words of advice to Doohan before the latter's F1 weekend debut. "We had a bit of a chat [in the] morning before going out [on track], just on expectations of circuit kerbs," Doohan said. "It's really cool, and a pleasure to be working with such a legend of the sport."