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Jack Doohan opens up on potential debut in 2025, Australian Grand Prix

Jack Doohan has declared he is ready to make the final step into the pinnacle of world motorsport – Formula 1.

The 21-year-old son of 500cc motorcycling legend Mick is the reserve driver for the Alpine team, and is in the box seat to make the step into a race seat next season.

On his return to Melbourne for the Australian Grand Prix, he’s been almost as busy signing autographs as compatriots Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri.

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But as his star rises, there’s one thing Doohan wants to make sure of.

“I want to stay just the same guy, the same person who I was growing up … just a kid from Oz,” he said.

“I never want to become anything more than that as a person.”

Doohan isn’t competing in any racing category full-time in 2024, that doesn’t mean he’s not busy.

Doohan’s reserve role will see him trackside at each of the 24 grands prix in the longest F1 season ever, and he will complete extensive testing in the simulator.

He will also drive the current car, driven by Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, in several opening practice sessions this season.

At the last F1 race in Saudi Arabia, Doohan watched on as former F2 rival and Ferrari reserve driver Ollie Bearman made his debut as a substitute for Carlos Sainz.

So while keeping one eye on 2025, Doohan has to remain prepared to be thrown into the deep end at short notice.

But whatever the situation his debut could come in, Doohan is confident he’s ready for the pressures of F1.

“I’ve been in the car a few times in FP1 last year, and pre-season testing and also at the start of the year with the two boys in Barcelona with the 2021 car,” he told Nine’s Wide World of Sports.

“I’m always there and on it as well straight away, so I’m confident that I can perform in F1 machinery. 

“It’s a different ball game obviously on the Grand Prix weekend, but that’s what I’m preparing for.”

In Melbourne, Doohan senior and junior took part in an on-track demonstration – Junior at the wheel of a 2000 Benetton F1 car, as the Alpine team was then known, with Senior on one of his championship-winning bokes.

Jack has had his old man by his side “since day dot”.

“Through every step – through karting into Europe, into the low levels of formula racing,” he said.

“It’s been really, really good to have him in my corner. You get older and more mature and realise that looking back, everything (he’s done) has been to help me and point me in the right direction. 

“He’s the one guy who is there to actually support me no matter what, and sometimes tell me the things that I don’t want to hear. And it’s important to have that.”

Despite having won five championships on motorcycles, Jack reckons Mick still gets nervous whenever he steps into the race car, despite his best efforts to hide it.

“I can tell a little bit on a race weekend when he’s a little bit more on edge, especially when there’s things that need to be done or to get in order,” Jack said.

“Then when I’m on-track, he’s probably the least nervous because there’s nothing he can do.”

Where Doohan could make his debut is unknown.

Both Alpine drivers are out of contract at the end of the season, so he could easily slip into that seat should Ocon or Gasly leave.

But based on early season form, Alpine has the slowest car on the F1 grid. There is also some doubt about the future of the team, and reports the team could be sold.

Whatever happens, there are about 130,000 fans at Albert Park this weekend hoping he joins Daniel Ricciardo and Oscar Piastri in 2025.

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