Second place in the 2021 FIA Formula 3 marked a breakthrough season for aspiring Australian youngster Jack Doohan.
The 18-year-old chalked up four wins across the campaign, ending the year 26 points down on title winner, and fellow Red Bull junior, Dennis Hauger (Prema Racing).
“I wanted to win very, very badly, but it was a long shot before the weekend,” Doohan told Speedcafe.com following the final round of the championship in Russia last weekend.
“But in the end, I'm happy and we have to be proud of what we did.
“We were the best qualifier of 2021, best average qualifying position – I think I had one qualifying in Red Bull Ring which was seventh due to traffic but other than that, our average is 3.1 for the year.
“We scored the most amount of points in the main feature race for the year, so on sheer performance when there's no reverse grid, we're at the top, so we have to take the positive.”
Doohan swapped camps ahead of the 2021 season, leaving HWA Racelab after the 2020 campaign in favour of Trident.
With the move came a rise in expectations, with a championship challenge firmly in mind in what was his second season of Formula 3.
Though second may have fallen shy of that mark, it has set him aside as a bright prospect for the future, which opens doors into the future.
“Basically it helps me, definitely going forward for the next year and gives me a lot of opportunities to continue, hopefully, this run and this form into next year [and] into a top team,” he said.
“I hope so,” he added when asked if he felt he'd done enough to prove himself in 2021.
“Prema is the top car, and in the end we got quite close and every time that there was an opportunity I took that and also took pole.
“We have to be happy.
“I'm the first driver to take it to the Premas this far into the championship in a non-Prema car, so I'm very happy.”