Trident team manager Giacomo Ricci has branded Jack Doohan as a completely different driver to the confidence-stricken 18-year-old he took on at the beginning of the season, backing the Australian to cause a shock in the season finale if given the chance.
Current Championship leader Dennis Hauger can potentially wrap up the title as early as Saturday morning, with the PREMA racer entering the weekend 43-points ahead of Doohan.
The Norwegian would need to endure a difficult weekend for Doohan to stand a chance, but Ricci said that the team will be doing everything to support him.
“We will need Hauger to have a really poor weekend,” admitted Ricci. “We will push as hard as we can until the very last race when we see the final chequered flag of the season. Jack (Doohan) will do his best to try and achieve pole position and gain the four points.
“For me, the difference is too big at the moment. The gap on the team’s side is more manageable and realistic. He’ll need to have an extremely, extremely impressive weekend, that’s the only way for Jack to win.”
After stepping up from the Euroformula Open Championship in 2020, Doohan failed to score a single point for HWA RACELAB and has admitted that he departed the German side low on confidence.
But since making the switch to Trident, Doohan has been transformed into a title contender, taking six podiums and three wins for the Italian team, and Ricci feels that the Australian can be proud of how far he’s come, no matter where he ends up.
“Jack has had such an impressive season and he has put so much effort in,” said Ricci. “He is so dedicated, and he has really matured compared to when he started working with us. He deserves to be up there and fighting for the title in the last race.
“To move from a position at the back to a title contender within a year is very impressive. We have given him the tools to extract his best, but at the same time, he has put in a massive effort, and for me, he has become really, really strong.
“His confidence is different now. He knows his strongest points and he’s always working on his weaknesses. That’s why he’s always improving. He is really pushing for the team, with his engineer, to extract the best from himself every weekend, and I am sure that he will do the same in Sochi.”