Heading into his second season in the series and remaining with Virtuosi, it was anticipated Doohan would be in the running for the championship.
But the 20-year-old Queenslander suffered a wretched start to the campaign, not least due to a developmental issue with the car which naturally required time to correct.
From the Spanish round onwards, Doohan has built up a head of steam that has allowed him to rise up the standings, culminating in feature race wins in the last two events in Hungary and Belgium to leave him 38 points behind leader Théo Pourchaire.
Aside from the work put in by Virtuosi, it also required a sit-down with Alpine, allowing the F1 team's reserve driver to play a committed role in driving his junior outfit forward.
“I'm the reserve driver but they're letting me focus on Formula 2,” said Doohan.
“We, myself included, didn't really expect to struggle so much this year with things. I obviously accepted this role at the start of the year, to be reserve driver, and with that came duties.
“But I made the decision, and they agreed as well, that I needed to focus on Formula 2, and make sure I get that back on track.
“Luckily, I have to an extent, and it needs to continue this way, so they're super supportive of everything and my commitment, so I'm super happy to be a part of them.”
Virtuosi and Doohan have worked their way up the grid, with Doohan's victory at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit coming from a remarkable 11th on the grid.
With three rounds of the series remaining – in Zandvoort, Monza, and Abu Dhabi – Doohan has given himself an opportunity as he never stopped believing.
“You always have to keep motivated, keep the determination, keep that dream alive, and have faith, because if you don't have faith, what do you have?” he remarked.
“This is my dream, my goal, my everything, so I stayed determined, I was resilient with all the challenges, and I'm happy to be back at a point where you could say I'm in touching distance of the title fight.
“So I'm happy, I'm really happy with the team as well and everyone around me that we've kept this going, but I still want to continue this.”