The second-year driver, who finished sixth in the standings last year, has had a difficult start to 2023, failing to score at the opening round in Bahrain.

He fared better last time out in Saudi Arabia, taking two points from the sprint race before finishing second in Sunday’s feature race.

The Australian said his podium felt like he was kickstarting the season from a points perspective, but that the problems had been “quite a big shock to the system.”

Doohan said: “To get some solid points, 18 – it’s obviously good. The top guys in the championship didn’t score so great today so to be up there and to get higher up on the board, consolidate myself for the year, it’s great.

“I’ve been struggling to find confidence with the car. We’ve had quite a few fundamental issues so far this season which has been quite a big shock to the system for all of us because it hasn’t been in our control.

“Trying to eliminate that every time we go out on track – still coming into today, I didn’t have any confidence at all unfortunately but [I'm] hoping that with things that we’re changing, we’re going to reinstate that.

“We did a good race, did the maximum we could. I don’t think I had the outright pace but to finish P2, finally a little bit of good luck, I’m happy to be here.”

Jack Doohan, Virtuosi

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

The Alpine F1 junior declined to expand on the issues the team are experiencing, but said they are “trying to unravel things” ahead of his home round in Australia next weekend.

He added: “To be honest, I don’t really want to go to deep into it, I prefer to do it behind the scenes.

“I think it’s just a bit of the cards that we’ve been dealt this year, it hasn’t been amazing, but we’re doing everything we can to try and get on top of it.

“We’re eliminating processes step-by-step, trying to unravel things, and we’re getting there.”

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Despite the team’s struggles, Doohan felt “quite a lot more confident” with the car in Saudi Arabia than he had at the season opener.

He remains optimistic that the issues can be turned around soon, and still has faith that he can clinch the title.

“I still don’t have that same feeling that I had at the end of last year. But I think that’s only a positive," said Doohan.

“We showed strong pace in parts of today. It feels bittersweet, I’m not happy and the team’s not happy for us to be in this position.

“I think when we get things sorted, we’re going to be very hard to beat.”

2023-03-23T13:57:32Z dg43tfdfdgfd