Jack Doohan hopes to salvage a podium in the Formula 2 Sprint Race following a difficult Qualifying session that left the Virtuosi Racing driver down in P7. The Australian said that conditions fell away from him and his team after a promising Free Practice earlier in the day.

Doohan’s time means he will be on the second row for Saturday’s Sprint Race and he’s hopeful of at least a podium to make amends having expected to fight for the top places on the grid.

Following Qualifying, he said that he and the team couldn’t quite put a finger on what had gone wrong and where the time was lost between the morning and afternoon sessions.

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“I expected the track to ramp up a bit more from Practice to Qualifying. When I saw the time on the dash I knew it wasn’t going to be quick enough. The conditions were ok to be honest. This morning was quite good for us and we should’ve been fastest if not for a red flag and a few other things.

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“I think our package was really strong coming into Qualifying but I’m a little bit lost and confused because we didn’t really have any pace at all. I’m happy to salvage seventh because it could’ve been a lot worse. At least we’re in a decent position for both races but what’s disappointing is I thought I had a pole position-worthy car coming into Qualifying, but it just wasn’t really connected front to rear. I wasn’t able to drive it how I wanted, so it was a difficult session for us."

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Seventh on the grid marks just the second time this season in which Doohan has failed to qualify inside the top five for the Feature Race, not withstanding his Jeddah post-Qualifying disqualification.

Despite the disappointment, Doohan added that he expected to be much more competitive in both races for the remainder of the weekend.

“This morning we were quick on hard tyres and heavy fuel, so I think we might not be too bad on race pace, it was just this afternoon was disappointing. I’m confident that we’ll be good in both races. It should be a good race. I hope to get on the podium, that’ll be ideal. We’ll see what happens.”