Barcelona (Spain), May 12: India’s Jehan Daruvala did his country proud by winning Race 2 in the first round of the all-new FIA Formula 3 Championship, here today in front of a huge F1 audience. The Indian National Anthem rung out at the Spanish F1 Grand Prix event thanks to the F3 races being one of the support events to F1.
Daruvala, 20, the only Indian on the 30-car grid, finished seventh in Race 1 of the double-header on Saturday, after having qualified fourth, and won Race 2, that saw two Safety Car periods, by a comfortable 2.1 seconds.
Starting Race 2 from second on the reverse grid, Daruvala (Prema Racing) was able to grab the lead from pole-sitter Niko Kari into the run down to the first corner. With an accident involving four cars at the back of the grid, the Safety Car was deployed on lap one. At the restart, Daruvala had to defend hard to keep the lead from Kari and over the next two laps, he quickly opened up a gap of over 1.5 seconds so as to prevent Kari from deploying DRS (Drag Reduction System).
The Safety Car was deployed a second time negating the advantage of the two-second gap which Daruvala had built up. During the restart, the Indian was much better prepared and was able to open up a gap of over 1.5 seconds in less than two laps. He thereafter controlled the race well and also bagged the fastest lap of the race and he cruised to take the chequered flag 2.121 seconds ahead of Estonian racer Juri Vips.
“During the race, I was, let’s say, in control, except for the first restart when I didn’t surprise the guy behind, enough, so I had to defend. After that, I was just managing the pace. I have to thank everyone at Prema Racing for giving me a fantastic car. I did not overdrive it, although if I needed more I could have pushed in the final couple of laps,” said Daruvala, the former multiple International Karting Champion.
Daruvala’s next race will be on June 21-23, along with the French Grand Prix.
The all new FIA F3 Championship was created by merging the erstwhile GP3 Championship and FIA F3 European Championship, resulting in an ultra-competitive 30-car grid. The championship will be the perfect training ground for the world’s best upcoming talents, to race at F1 events and the opportunity to prove themselves to all the F1 teams.
About Jehan Daruvala
Jehan Daruvala, 20, began his racing career in Karting at the age of 10. Since then, he has won the Indian National Karting Championship, the Malaysian Junior Yamaha Karting Championship, the FIA CIK Asia Pacific KF3 Championship and the British Superone National Karting Championship. Jehan remains the only Indian on the podium of any FIA World Championship, when he was second runner-up of the FIA CIK World Karting Championship. Jehan also remains the only Indian to win a Grand Prix, when he won the New Zealand Grand Prix and later went on to become the only Indian to win a race in the erstwhile FIA F3 European Championship, which used slower cars. Earlier this year, Jehan was selected by Prema Racing, one of the World’s most successful Junior Racing teams’ to drive for them in this year’s new, FIA F3 Championship.