In Conversation with Jack Doohan

In Conversation with Jack Doohan

Off the back of his awesome win in the Formula 2 feature race in Belgium, we caught Aussie driver Jack Doohan for a quick chat in the Zandvoort paddock.


PF - Jack, congratulations! Last weekend was awesome, are you still on a high?

JD - Umm, no. I mean, of course I am on a high and I'm enjoying it but I have to come down pretty quickly due to the fact we're in the middle of a triple header. The weekend was done at the close of Sunday night. Monday is a new race week here in Zandvoort. So I've had to refocus and come back down to earth, and get back to working on how we can repeat the same results this weekend or even better.


PF - A win like that to open the triple must give you a fair amount of confidence heading into the next two races?

JD - It’s obviously a good starting point for sure. Everyone has been coming up and saying good job, great weekend, and all that sort of stuff, but honestly I really just want to try and take away the positives from the win, and not dwell too much on the fact it was a great weekend. One great race doesn’t define a driver so I need to try to push forward and continue to have the hunger and fight to do that every weekend.


PF - How are you feeling ahead of this weekend? You raced here last year, is Zandvoort a circuit you like?

JD - Yeah I raced here last year in Formula 3. It wasn’t amazing for me last year to be honest, but I really like the circuit so I am sure we can have a great weekend, and we’ll see how it is in a Formula 2 car. This is the first time ever that Virtuosi Racing (Jack’s team) will race here in Zandvoort, in any category, so hopefully, we can be straight on it.


PF - Can you describe the season so far in 3 words?

JD - Rollercaster…

Wait that’s a tough question, give me a minute…Rollercoaster, positive and fun!


PF - Any pre-race rituals, do you listen to music or do anything to get in the zone?

JD - Well obviously I warm up and then I play a few games of chess.


PF - Chess, that’s interesting.

JD - Yeah with my headphones in, and then after chess I lie down for 10 minutes listening to music. I’m listening to music the whole time but for those 10 minutes at the end, I don’t really do anything else.


PF - Any favourite artists?

JD - I wouldn’t really have one favourite, I listen to all kinds of music. I would say my favourite artist is… wait this is another tricky question. Let me open my Spotify. Do you know how hard that question is? You must know how hard that question is right?!


PF - Haha yes, to be honest our liked songs are extensive and we don’t know who’s in there! We just hear and like random songs and they find their way into our playlists.

JD - Yeah me too! Why can’t Spotify do like a mid-season review, you know how they do at the end of the year? Then we would just know who are top artists are and who we listen to most.


PF - Oh yeah Spotify Wrapped can be embarrassing!

JD - Yeah, but who gives a fuck! Everyone can listen to what music they want! Okay, this is so hard. I don’t want to be boring either and say someone like Drake. You know what I mean? Everyone says Drake!


PF - Okay who was the last musician you saw live? Do you get to see many people play?

JD - I have never actually seen anyone live.


PF - No way!

JD - Yeah really! Okay, an all-round artist, someone that I probably listen to a lot is The Weekend.


PF - Thats a strong answer, we’ll go with that.

So you travel the world alongside your dad Mick, and he obviously had a hugely successful career himself. How do you find working together? We’re guessing he has some pretty good advice and words of wisdom.

JD - For sure! A lot of advice and most of it is the same sort of advice just a little bit more specific from what I’ve been receiving since I was super young and in karting, because the same principles apply. It's great having him here and obviously as it goes further and further up the ladder his involvement is less due to the brains, knowledge, and power that these teams have. But it's really cool to have him at the race weekends and to have his knowledge. If he sees anything or spots anything he’s always right there to tell me, so yeah it's great.


PF - Are there any drivers or athletes that inspire you?

JD - My dad obviously! Also Micheal Schumacher has always been my idol and someone I’ve looked up to massively. He was a family friend that I grew up with. But also someone like Mick, his son, who it's been really tricky for having to deal with Michaels's accident and not having his dad there would have been extremely tough. So for him to still keep pushing and making it to Formula 1 was and is an amazing achievement.

Muhammad Ali, Michael Phelps…there are a lot of people who do sports very well but there are specific people that do it in a way I admire. Which are those putting in the hard work and the dedication. Some people have an extreme amount of talent but then the work ethic or hard work doesn’t replicate that.


PF - Do you have any passions outside of racing?

JD - I would say my top passion outside of racing would be surfing! I have other things that I can’t really do, for example, I would love to be riding my bikes and skating…


PF - Damn, do you get told not to do those things?

JD - Yeah it's in my contracts for sure, because the thing is if we're to hurt ourselves that’s our season over, which can even lead to our careers being over. So it's not really possible to do that much outside of racing, but surfing is not so high risk and I enjoy it a lot! I also like being out running and out on the bike, all kinds of adrenaline adventure sports I am big into.


PF - What's something on your bucket list?

JD - See I don’t know if I’d do it or not, but I do really want to get my sky diving license.


PF - Obviously next season Formula 2 race's in Australia! Whether you’re in F1 or F2 next year, how do you feel about the possibility of a home race? Are you happy to see Australia being added to the calendar?

JD - For sure! It brings a huge smile. I’ve never actually raced a car in Australia so it will be very cool. I know the home support would be amazing and having friends and family there would be very cool too. In the end, the processes will be just the same as any other race weekend as they need to be to perform, but it will be a special one for sure!


PF - What’s the plan for the next couple of months, after Monza you’ve got time to kill before Abu Dhabi. What will you be up to? A lot of training?

JD - Yeah a lot of training. Probably quite a lot of time in the SIM as well, with Alpine. Also I’ll try to get home back to Australia for a few weeks which will be very cool. Then once October starts we're almost a month out very quickly, so then things will really start to ramp up and get hectic again.


PF - And finally what’s the best piece of advice you have ever received?

JD - We’re at such a high level here in F3 and F2, and there’s so much outside pressure to perform and do well because your career is essentially on the line. Everyone on the grid wants to win and wants to get pole and you can get so in your own head that you forget to enjoy it. But that’s why you’re here and why you start racing in the first place, because you love driving cars and sometimes it's easy to forget that. You can get lost in your thoughts about performance and the pressure. So I think trying to use that pressure in a good way is powerful. Even just like jumping into the F2 car and being able to do what we do. We're in F2 cars driving around Zandvoort, how is that not enjoyable? So I think the best advice I’ve been given is to remember what we're doing and why we’re doing it and if you’re not enjoying it then you shouldn’t be here because you're not being driven by the right purpose or intentions. So in short, enjoy it.


Awesome! Thanks Jack! And massive good luck for this weekend! 

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