Describing his weekend as “average,” Jack Doohan feels his team’s pace warrants a much higher place in the Championship standings, as the Virtuosi Racing driver was left lamenting a series of “strange things holding us back.”
The Alpine junior is technically the only driver to have qualified in the top three in both of the first two rounds, but he’s yet to have a podium to show for his efforts, having been taken out of contention by a collision with Théo Pourchaire in the Sakhir Feature Race. Disqualification from Jeddah Qualifying then put him on the back foot for both races this weekend.
Charging to 10th on Sunday in Round 1, Doohan put on another similar recovery drive in this weekend’s Feature Race at Jeddah to climb to ninth.
“We are very disappointed,” said Doohan, who is 14th in the standings with six points. “I think if we had started anywhere in the top 10, then we could have won the race.
“It is good to know that we have the pace, though. We were at the end of our prime stint on Lap 20 when Felipe (Drugovich) was at the start of his, and he couldn't catch up with us, so that shows that we had really good pace.”
With an additional formation lap taking place on Sunday due to a false start, Doohan had one lap fewer to continue his charge.
Asked whether he could have made up any more places during that lap, Doohan replied: “If we had gotten that extra lap, then I’d have gone past both of the DAMS cars. There have been strange things holding us back this weekend, but it is what it is.
“We did the fastest lap at the end of the race by half a second. It is good, but it is also disappointing. Hopefully the difficulties that we have faced this weekend, with some weird things happening, will put us in a position to avoid further DSQs, so that we can actually take some real points. “
Having already made a case to be the quickest team on current form, Doohan doesn’t believe Virtuosi will need to make major changes at Barcelona testing in April.
“To be honest, I think we are fast,” continued Doohan. “We have been fast in both rounds. We put it on pole in Bahrain, and here, with a terrible lap, we were P3. If I had gotten a clean lap, I think we could have been pole.
“We displayed our race pace here as well, it’s just unfortunate that it doesn't show on paper. Others know that we are really quick, we just need to continue to work. We'll use the test to continue our good work ahead of the European season."