Missing out on pole by the tiniest of margins - just 0.006s - Jack Doohan was in a buoyant mood on the back of his first qualifying session with Trident, highlighting how far he has come since his last visit to Barcelona back in August 2020 when he qualified 17th.

It may be early days still, but the relationship between the Australian and Trident has been harmonious so far. Doohan put in strong performances in each of the post and pre-season tests and carried that over into Free Practice this morning, where he finished P8.

But it was in Qualifying where fans truly saw just how far the Red Bull junior has developed as he traded places at the front with PREMA Racing’s Dennis Hauger, narrowly missing out on pole.

“Looking at where I was last year, I would have done anything to be P2, whereas now I am a tad annoyed to have only missed out on pole by six thousandths,” he said. “From the first morning that I stepped in the car at post-season testing last year, I was already quite comfortable.

“The atmosphere is at an all-time high. These guys want to go racing. It’s their passion. If they are away from a track for too long, then they start shaking to get back. We all share that same passion and drive to be here and to win.

Doohan was beaten to pole by Hauger by 0.006s
Doohan was beaten to pole by Hauger by 0.006s

“I enjoy the Italian way of working, always pushing, always wanting more. Plus, the mixture between Italians and an Australian, there’s a little bit of craziness that meets in the middle.”

It was a similarly successful session for Doohan’s teammates, with all three of them featuring in the top 10, a feat only achieved by Trident, with Clément Novalak P7 and David Schumacher P9.

Doohan believes the trio can push each other towards a title challenge.

“We all get along quite well, and we’ve got a good mutual relationship,” continued Doohan. “It was great for the team to have us all in the top three. The team did an awesome job.

“Clem and David are super quick drivers, and they’re pushing me on. Every time we check the data, there’s always something that someone is doing better. We know we have a decent package and hopefully we can fight for the title.

“Nothing silly though, we just need to get points and finish races. That is what we are planning to do, and hopefully the championship will take care of itself.”