Despite going for the same Alpine race seat as Oscar Piastri, Jack Doohan says it would “not be right to create enemies” out of his compatriot.
Piastri and Doohan, two Australian youngsters, are potential Formula 1 drivers of the future, Piastri a step closer to the dream.
The 2021 Formula 2 champion will spend this season as Alpine’s reserve driver with an eye to a 2023 race seat.
Such is the team’s belief in the 20-year-old that Piastri will have a “good number of days” on track testing a Formula 1 car.
Piastri’s move up to Formula 1 opened the door for Alpine to sign a new youngster to their junior programme, the team persuading Doohan to drop Red Bull’s junior programme in favour of the Alpine programme.
The 19-year-old will also be racing for Virtuosi Racing in the Formula 2 series.
Doohan is hoping that a great season in Formula 2 could see him earn a Formula 1 promotion, although that puts him a collision course with Piastri as Alpine have already locked in one driver for the 2023 season, Esteban Ocon already signed up.
That means potentially only Fernando Alonso’s seat could be open with the Spaniard and the two young Australians both in the hunt.
Doohan says for now he intends learning from his compatriot rather than making an enemy out of him.
“To be honest, not really,” he said to GPFans when asked if he saw himself as ‘direct competition’ against Piastri.
“At the moment, I’m going to learn everything I can and take Oscar as someone that hopefully, I can get some information off because he came in as a rookie into a top team last year and did an exceptional job and dominated the championship.
“For now, it would definitely not be the right thing to do to try and compete against Oscar.
“Obviously, we both want to get to Formula 1 and hopefully, at the end of this year, if things go right, I will be but for now I need to learn as much as possible.
“It would not be right to create enemies and try to one-up myself against someone that is very well respected with the academy and with the Formula 1 team.
“Going forward I’m just going to try to use all the resources I have available and at the moment, Oscar is one of them.”
Piastri has had a meteoric rise in motor racing, winning the Formula Renault Eurocup in 2019 followed by the Formula 3 title and the Formula 2.
Doohan has taken a slightly different path, the F3 Asian Championship in 2019 where he was P2 and again in the 2019/20 season.
He raced in Formula 3 last season where he finished second in the championship.
Doohan added: “Not so long ago I viewed Oscar – and I still do but not to that extent – as a competitor and someone that I wanted to beat being a fellow Aussie.
“But I had to come to the realisation that he has done an exceptional job for the past three years and what he has accomplished.”
Doohan doesn’t want to make an enemy of Piastri
Jack Doohan wants to learn from Oscar Piastri instead of creating an enemy.