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Doohan and Caldwell recruited to Alpine Academy

NEWS STORY
14/02/2022

Jack Doohan and Olli Caldwell are the two newest additions to the Alpine Academy.

As the programme enters its seventh year, Doohan and Caldwell join Caio Collet and Victor Martins who continue with the Enstone-based programme for a second consecutive season as the Academy line-up increases Alpine's international presence with its drivers representing Europe, South America and Oceania.

Doohan and Caldwell will represent the Academy in Formula 2, driving for Virtuosi Racing and Campos Racing respectively. The duo made their debuts in the series for the final two rounds of the 2021 season.

Doohan becomes the second Australian driver to join the Academy ranks, following in the footsteps of Oscar Piastri. He does so on the back of finishing as runner-up in the 2021 FIA Formula 3 Drivers' Championship. Nineteen-year-old Caldwell, meanwhile, took eighth position in the same championship and scored one victory.

Returning to the Academy for another season are Collet and Martins. Brazilian driver Caio stays with MP Motorsport for another year after he finished in ninth position in his rookie season. Victor switches to ART Grand Prix for his second year in Formula 3, as he looks to build on a season that saw him secure his maiden victory in the Championship.

The Academy had its most successful year in 2021, with graduates Oscar Piastri taking the F2 title on his first attempt and Guanyu Zhou finishing third following an intense battle. Both are now readying for their first seasons inside the Formula 1 paddock, while Christian Lundgaard heads for pastures new in America for the 2022 IndyCar Series.

All four of this year's Academy crop start their respective campaigns on March 18-20 alongside Formula 1's opening Grand Prix in Bahrain.

"The Alpine Academy remains an extremely valuable part of what we want to achieve in Formula 1," said Laurent Rossi, CEO of Alpine. "We are passionate about finding the next generation of racers to nourish our F1 driver line-up. It's exciting to see the growing strength of the programme since it was started in 2016, with last year being its most successful season to date.

"Of our 2021 graduates, Oscar joins our Formula 1 programme as the team's official Reserve Driver, and he has an important role alongside Esteban and Fernando this year. We also only need to look down the Formula 1 paddock and across to IndyCar to see two more of our Academy graduates from last year, which is a testament to the structure of the programme to prepare drivers for senior series.

"As with every year we have high expectations for our Academy and it's no different heading into this season. We welcome two new drivers, Jack and Olli, combined with the returning Formula 3 duo of Caio and Victor. Each brings their own personality and talent and we are excited to see how our drivers develop this season, individually and as a group."

"The Alpine Academy enters a new cycle this season after a very successful 2021 for the programme," added Davide Brivio, BWT Alpine F1 Team Racing Director. "This year our Academy driver line-up has a nice blend of talent with a lot of potential. Jack and Olli both enter their first seasons in Formula 2 but crucially have experience from the series last year. We have faith they will adapt well and learn valuable lessons in their first year in the Academy. Caio and Victor continue with the programme for another year and we have high expectations for them both. They now become the most experienced drivers in the Academy, so we're excited to see them demonstrate all of their learnings so far.

"We are only measured by our success on track," said Mia Sharizman, Alpine Academy Director, "and our goal as an Academy is always to win the Championships our drivers are competing in. Jack is fresh from finishing as runner-up in Formula 3 showing his raw speed in the Championship and again in his debut in Formula 2 last year. While Olli comes into the Academy after a solid year in F3 where he managed four podium finishes and a race win. We accept it might take a few races for the two of them to adjust to their new surroundings, but we're confident they will hit the ground running towards the second half of the season.

"For Victor and Caio, they know it's time to deliver and fight for the F3 title this season after a strong first year in the series. They've been part of the Academy for four years and have shown strong development in every season. Victor won his first race last year and Caio scored some strong results. We are excited for both seasons to start next month."

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