Three Podiums in Rookie Category
Nürburgring, Germany: Sahara Force India Academy Racer – Jehan Daruvala continued his maiden F3 season with another strong points haul in Round 8 of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The Indian teenager & former second runner up in the World Karting Championship started tenth in Race 3, climbing up the order to finish fifth.
The famed Nürburgring racetrack, notoriously known as ‘Green Hell’ once upon a time, was the host for Round 8. Jehan put up a strong performance to finish in the points in all three races of the weekend around the 5.148 km long GP Strecke layout. A full grid of 22 drivers battled for top honours in unpredictable conditions as intermittent rain and sunshine made all sessions extremely tricky in terms of tyre choice and setup.The 18-year old from Mumbai showed immense skill and maturity to stay out of trouble throughout and his consistency ensured that he finished in the points in all three races with a best finish of 5th in an incident-filled race three.
FIA Formula 3 is the toughest junior racing category in the world, having produced some of the best racing talents ever known including Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Ayrton Senna & Michael Schumacher.
Jehan qualified 10th for the final race of the weekend and had a good start as the lights went out. The Mumbai teenager did well to keep out of trouble as drivers clashed and clattered around him. Going into the steep downhill turn one, he stuck to the inside while Ferdinand Habsburg and Guanyu Zhou came together and retired instantly. With chaos reigning all around him, Jehan kept his head down, picking off his opponents one at a time. Shortly thereafter, the safety car was deployed and by then Jehan was already in a strong sixth place.
As the field circulated behind the safety car for a few laps, attempting to keep their tyres and brakes warm for the restart, it was clear that the bunched-up field would result in more overtaking opportunities as drivers prepared to go racing once again. Jehan ensured that he placed his car perfectly behind Japanese racer Marino Sato in fifth place; and managed to overtake almost as soon as the race went green.
The top five group including Jehan proceeded to break away from the rest of the pack and Jehan was embroiled in a close dual with Callum Illot, but the British racer defended strongly. As the race progressed, a yawing 10second gap separated Jehan from the sixth place finisher by the time he crossed the chequered flag. McLaren Junior – Lando Norris won the race ahead of Jake Hughes.
“It was a pretty tough weekend in terms of conditions which were never consistent but we were able to stay in the points and finish in the top five in the last race so I think it was good work all around”, said Jehan.
The Indian driver is now sixth in drivers’ overall standings and second in rookie standings with two rounds to go and while there is a considerable gap to fifth placed Briton Jake Hughes in the overall tally, Jehan is focused on finishing his rookie Formula 3 season in the top five. “With only Spielberg and Hockenheim remaining, I want to finish in the top five in the championship. There are still six races to go and so I am really looking forward to concluding the season on a strong note”, he added.
Jehan will now race at the Redbull Ring at Spielberg in Austria on the 23rd & 24th of September.