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Jack Doohan

Jack Doohan: From a broken leg on a motorcycle to Formula 1

Jack Doohan is increasingly being mentioned as Esteban Ocon's potential successor at Alpine.

Mick Doohan Jack Doohan
To news overview © XPBimages

Jack Doohan is currently Alpine's reserve driver, but is increasingly likely to win a full-time F1 seat. RacingNews365 spoke exclusively to Doohan, which included his father, Michael Doohan. 

The Doohan name is a big one in the motorsport world. Michael 'Mick' Doohan rose to become one of the best motorcycle riders of all time in the 1990s. The Australian became a five-time world champion in the 500cc class (predecessor to MotoGP).

In 2003, Doohan had a son, Jack. And he is now close to a debut in the pinnacle of single-seater motorsport. RacingNews365 spoke exclusively with both men during an Alpine F1 test at Zandvoort, where the team's reserve driver was in action. 

Netherlands is a special country for Mick, as he won on Dutch soil several times during his career at a circuit in Assen 239.3 km away. As a result, returning to the nation is also special for the motorcycling legend.

"I love the Netherlands, but unfortunately I have never raced here at Zandvoort," he said. "The TT is of course always in Assen. 

"The Dutch are so passionate about motorsport in general, especially when you see what Max Verstappen is doing now in Formula 1." But why did his son choose car racing? "I did give him a motorcycle, but that didn't quite work out," Doohan recounted with a big smile on his face.

Schumacher's kart

"He broke his leg when he was five years old. Then when he and his sister were given a kart by Michael Schumacher, it also helped that he chose the four wheels," explains the former motorcycle world champion. 

Jack confirmed the story: "When I was three, me and my sister were given a go-kart for Christmas by Michael Schumacher. That was an introduction for me, although my father always had an interest in four-wheelers as well."

Jack is referring to his father's various motorsport adventures. After his career in motorcycles, Mick tested a Williams F1 car, amongst other things, and drove one race in DTM. It made Jack's motorsports fire burn more.

"We always had go-karts at home, which he also had a passion for," the 2022 F2 third-place finisher said. "When I broke my leg on a motorcycle when I was five, I got a little scared. 

"As I got more and more into karting, it felt more like something I wanted to do more often, whereas the motorcycle felt more like a hobby. Karting then became more and more intense and eventually turned to car racing."

His father added: "As a father, I am extremely proud of what he has already accomplished and how hard he pushes himself to be the best."

Despite the fact that his son has not headed toward motorcycles, his father plays an important role. However, Mick himself feels that he is increasingly in the background of his son's career, something he is happy to live with. 

"At this point in his career, you have to let him make most of the decisions. When he was younger, in his karting, F4 days, you work a lot on the mental side."

Nevertheless, Mick sees a lot of similarities between car racing and motorbike racing: "There are a lot of similarities between the two worlds," Jack's father revealed. 

"How the paddock is put together, how the engineers work, but at the end of the day Jack picks all that up very quickly. But no kidding, I'm just like any other father, who is here to support his son, just like others. 

"I do have some experience, but there is a proper time and place to discuss that. If I focus too much on that, he thinks I'm criticising, so he just has to come to me with it!"

The text continues below the photo.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Chances in F1

So his son's name is increasingly singing around the F1 world, but how does Mick himself view his son's F1 chances? Doohan remains realistic: "The chances are very limited. You just have to be that honest and realistic. But you never know, Formula One is so dynamic.

"The good thing is that Jack drove quite a lot of miles in different tests. And he's fast. In Formula 2, things just didn't fall his way. Especially in 2022, he had a lot of technical problems and was tapped out of the race several times. 

"The points were up for grabs. He has proven to be fast enough, not only in F2, but also in a Formula 1 car. His CV is much better than others and he has already driven many more miles. 

"I think he would do well in a car like that, but until he gets an opportunity like that, and those opportunities are limited, he needs to keep working really hard," concluded Jack's father.

View the full interview with Michael and Jack Doohan below!

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