Doohan to make F1 test debut with Alpine in Qatar RaceFans

In the round-up: Jack Doohan will get his first outing in a Formula 1 car in Qatar this weekend

In brief

Doohan to join Piastri for private Alpine test in Qatar

Alpine academy driver Jack Doohan, formerly a member of Red Bull’s junior team, will get his first opportunity to drive a Formula 1 car tomorrow during the final day of a private test with last year’s Alpine A521 at the Losail circuit in Qatar.

The Formula 2 driver will run the third and final day of the test in the 2021 car on Sunday after the team’s reserve driver Oscar Piastri completed two days of testing on Wednesday and Thursday. Doohan currently sits 17th in the Formula 2 championship with six points.

“I’m super excited to drive a Formula 1 car for the first time,” said Doohan. “This is a moment that I’ve been building up to ever since I started racing karts, and I know these opportunities are extremely privileged.

“I’ve watched behind the scenes at some private tests before and I’ve completed a lot of preparation in the loop simulator at Enstone, so I’m definitely feeling ready for this challenge. I’ll build myself up on the day, enjoy it at the same time and hopefully learn as much as possible alongside the team.”

Di Grassi does not get “big fuss” over jewelry ban

Envision Formula E driver Lucas di Grassi says that he does not understand the furore over the FIA’s strict application of its safety rules over jewelry and fireproof underwear.

Di Grassi was fined €10,000 (£8,850) by the FIA ​​during the Punte del Este EPrix in Uruguay in 2018 after he was found to have won underwear that did not adhere to the FIA’s standards. The former Formula E champion says he does not see why the recent clampdown is proving controversial.

“The rule has been around since forever,” Di Grassi told RaceFans.

“It’s just that it’s more critical now that we are operating with high voltage vehicles – regardless if it’s hybrid or it is fully electric, you have high-voltage systems and you cannot have metal around you. It’s a standard rule if you work in a high-voltage environment. Even wedding rings and everything else. So I don’t make a big fuss about it. I take my rings out in a race and then put them back. So I don’t know why this big fuss is really about. It is just for safety and that’s it.

“It’s the same with the underwear. I was fined €10,000 because I was wearing the wrong underwear, but back then we had a reason because we jumped from one car to another, so you had to make sure that everything was in the right place when they were putting the seatbelt. So that was the reason before. But since we don’t jump from one car anymore, that there’s no reason to do that.”

Zanardi’s 1999 Williams FW21 fetches £267,944 at auction

Alex Zanardi, Ganassi, Williams, Imola, 1999
Zanardi’s 1999 F1 return was not a success

A Williams FW21 chassis raced by Alex Zanardi in the 1999 season fetched €315,000 (£267,944) at a Bonham’s auction in Monaco yesterday ahead of the Monaco Historic Grand Prix this weekend.

The chassis number five was raced at ten rounds of the 1999 season by Zanardi including the Monaco, British, Malaysian and Japanese rounds. Zanardi failed to score any points in the car, or indeed any through the 1999 season, recording a best grid position of fourth and finishing position of seventh, both at the Italian Grand Prix.

Zanardi’s team mate Ralf Schumacher finished sixth in the drivers’ championship with 35 points. Unsurprisingly, Williams opted to replace Zanardi for the 2000 season, hiring young British F3 driver Jenson Button in his place.

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