Indian racer Jehan Daruvala will realise his long-cherished dream of getting behind the wheel of a Formula One car when he tests the 2021 McLaren F1 car later this week at the Silverstone circuit in England.

The racer from Mumbai is part of the Red Bull Racing academy but will test for rival McLaren with the blessings of the former.

“I am incredibly grateful to be getting this opportunity. Testing in Formula 1 is extremely limited and opportunities like these are not easy to come by, especially with a championship-winning team like McLaren. It will be my first experience in a Formula 1 car, which I’m sure will be special,” said Daruvala.

This will be part of McLaren’s Testing of Previous Cars (TPC) programme which is used to evaluate young drivers.

The McLaren test will give him a chance to show his potential behind an F1 car and marks an important step in the India racer’s career.

Speaking about his goal and preparations, Daruvala explained, “My main aim is to learn as much as I can. It’s tempting to go flat out from the beginning, but we have a programme to run through with short and long runs. At the end of the day, I am a racing driver so I want to go as fast as possible and really enjoy myself.”

“I have already had a few days in the team’s simulator to get used to the switches and buttons on the steering wheel,” he added.

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The 23-year-old currently is competing in the F2 championship driving for Prema Racing and is currently third in the driver’s standings and the highest-placed Red Bull junior driver in the category. 

Apart from Red Bull Racing, the energy drinks company runs another F1 team - AlphaTauri, where it usually places its young drivers if they are worthy of a place on the F1 grid. 

However, it is unlikely that AlphaTauri is going to change its current drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda meaning there are limited opportunities in F1 for Jehan at the moment.

When asked if he would open for a third / reserver driver’s role in F1 instead of competing in another championship, Daruvala said, “If I have a reserve role for next year with the possibility of a lot more seats opening up for 2024, then I will take it. I don’t think it’s that easy to get a full-time drive in a championship next year, so I think my sole focus is still trying to get into F1.”