Jehan Daruvala becomes first Indian to win European F3 race

The Mumbai-lad soaked up pressure Germany’s Maximilian Günther for the entire duration of the race but never put a foot wrong and constantly maintained an advantage of 0.4 seconds.

Daruvala was one of the three short-listed by Force India during a national-level karting talent hunt conducted back in 2011.   -  Special Arrangement

Force India F1 team academy driver Jehan Daruvala created history by becoming the first Indian to win a race in the FIA European F3 championship event, winning the third race of the weekend here on Sunday. The 18-year old Indian driver driving for Carlin team, started from second position and took the lead into the first turn and looked in sublime control all through the race.

The Mumbai-lad soaked up pressure from Germany’s Maximilian Günther for the entire duration of the race but never put a foot wrong and constantly maintained an advantage of 0.4 seconds.

Daruvala was one of the three short-listed by Force India during a national-level karting talent hunt conducted back in 2011. In 2012 he was selected to be part of the F1 team’s young driver academy and his career has since been guided by the outfit owned by Vijay Mallya.

 

In the first race this weekend, Daruvala qualified ninth and finished sixth while in the second race he finished fourth after qualifying fifth.

Daruvala already created history few months back when he secured pole position in the second round in Monza, Italy and finished second in that race, securing his and India’s first podium in the highly competitive junior series. He had his second podium in race one in Hungary last month.

India’s first F1 driver Narain Karthikeyan tweeted a congratulatory note saying, “18 years after I won my first British F3 race, another Indian has made it to the top step once again - well done & congrats @DaruvalaJehan !.”

Current F1 drivers like Max Verstappen, the youngest ever F1 driver and a race winner, Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Williams driver Lance Stroll are some of the recent graduates from this series.

Speaking to Sportstar, Daruvala said, “I knew starting from the front row there was a chance of win so I focussed on getting a good start and it paid off.” “It was a long race and I was nervous at times but I got my head down and focussed on getting good exits out of corners and never really allowed him to get close.”

Commenting on his season so far, Daruvala said, “It has been up and down even though I have shown I have the raw pace especially in the races. At times, I made mistakes in qualifying that has hurt me a bit. But with this win under my belt, I want to focus and just build on it.”

When asked about what his targets were before the season and will there be any revision of goals, Daruvala said, “I was quite confident after winter testing and these high downforce cars suited me. But I did not really set any targets for myself. So going ahead my main focus is just to be more consistent and get more podiums and good results.”