Victory in Rookie Classification
Budapest, Hungary : Sahara Force India Academy Racer, Jehan Daruvala notched up his 2nd F3 podium with a strong drive to third place in Race 1. The Hungaroring Formula 1 Circuit hosted the fourth round of the FIA F3 European Championship along with the DTM racing series.
Jehan’s weekend began in the best possible way with the Indian Rookie on top of the time sheets in the first practice, with a lap time of 1:36.073. Practice session 2 saw Jehan drop to fourth on the time sheets. Qualifying for Race 1 was under tricky conditions due to rain and Jehan showed tremendous improvement in his wet weather skills to qualify in fourth. Incredibly, he posted the same laptime of 1:50.224 as Jake Hughes, who posted his laptime slightly before Jehan & would therefore start ahead of Jehan. Up ahead Maximillian Gunther from Germany earned pole position.
Jehan made an excellent start in Race 1 from third, after another racer was penalised post qualifying. Jehan pulled alongside second placed racer Jake Hughes in the run down to the first corner. The duo were soon joined by a third racer as three cars went into the first corner side by side. Jehan on the outside, was pushed very wide & forced to leave the track completely. Fortunately the Indian teenager was able to join back & also stay in third.The extremely tight & twisty nature of the Hungaroring circuit meant that Jehan found it very difficult to overtake Hughes. Soon, the Virtual Safety Car was put into action due to an incident between other racers and Hughes managed to keep Jehan at bay at the restart, giving no chance for the Indian to overtake. In the latter stages of the race, Jehan once again closed the gap to Hughes, but Australian racer Joey Mawson, soon joined them to make it a three way battle. Eventually with no positions exchanged, the trio took the chequered flag with 1.3 seconds only covering all three racers. Up ahead, Gunther took advantage to win the race comfortably.
Jehan’s third place comes after he took pole & finished second at the Monza Circuit in Italy in round 2. Jehan also stood on the top step of the podium in the Rookie classification, ahead of Mawson & teammate, Lando Norris.
“I am happy to have made it onto the podium again here. Towards the halfway point, I was given a warning for track limit infringements, so I was a little bit more cautious after that. I didn’t want to risk a penalty. Then, I hoped for Jake to make a mistake in front of me, but he didn’t give me that pleasure. I also had to keep an eye on Mawson who had closed right up”, said a satisfied Jehan after his podium.
Race 2 & Race 3 saw Jehan qualify ninth & tenth respectively, after he took time to adjust to the high cross wind situation at the circuit during qualifying. The tight nature of the circuit meant Jehan could do little in terms of moving up the order. He moved up a place in each race to finish eight & ninth in the two races. He also earned two additional rookie podiums for finishing second and third in the rookie classification.
Jehan’s points haul in all three races, moves him up the points table to sixth overall. He remains second in the Rookie standings with 212 points. The FIA F3 European Championship moves to the street circuit of Norisring in Germany on the 1st & 2nd of July.