Jack Doohan is opting to put a mature spin on a frustrating rookie season of Formula 3, applying the age-old adage that you can learn more from the tough times, than the good ones.
Doohan failed to score a point in his debut campaign, although he did come really close on a number of occasions. The Australian improved as the season went on and did actually close out the campaign with his best finish in F3, taking 11th in Race 2 at Mugello.
“It’s been far from expectations,” he began. “Very, very far. I think overall, it has been very, very tough, but we have to reflect on it, analyse what went wrong and look at what I can do better. All we can do is improve for next year, depending on what that is.
“I would love to be back here. It would be the first time that I have stayed in the same championship for more than a year, so hopefully that can work to my advantage. Being in the same car, on the same circuits, with same the braking points.
“Although it has been a very, very tough year, I feel I can learn more from that than a successful year. Obviously, a successful year would have been amazing, but hopefully this can take me on to bigger and better things and make me a stronger person and driver.”
Doohan knows as well as anyone just how much can be learned from a negative event, citing an experience he had in the Euroformula Open Championship in 2019.
The Australian ended up in the wall three times in one weekend but was then on pole and took his first podium in the following round. It proved to be a defining moment.
“It was terrible,” he recalled “A really low point, but the next weekend I was on pole and got my first podiums. I was like okay, reality check, this is kind of rock bottom here: you know you have been in the wall three times, but the only way to go is up now. I will take from that experience and put it into next year.”
Doohan will be expecting a similar upturn in form if he returns to F3 in 2021. The HWA RACELAB driver showed plenty of flashes in speed and was far from alone in taking time to adapt to F3.
The second tier of junior motorsport is a notoriously difficult one to master, one that is filled with the best junior talent on the planet. That’s what makes it such a strong breeding ground for young drivers.
“It is a big combination of things,” he continued. “Obviously, talent only gets you so far, that is 10% of the 90% picture. To get to this point, everyone in this Championship is quick, there is no doubt about that.
Talent only gets you so far, that is 10% of the 90% picture.
“Everyone on the grid in certain circumstances could be the fastest on track. But then there is the 90% which dictates everything. Hopefully, we can get that other 90% right for next year. I will be working hard over the winter to be in a position to be a title contender.”