Racing driver from Mumbai, Jehan Daruvala followed up his Saturday podium with a points-paying finish in Sunday’s Formula 2 Feature race, with the Red Bull-backed racer showing blistering pace to bounce back from an ill-timed safety car.
The 23-year-old, who finished second in Saturday’s Sprint race, had started on the harder prime tyre which would have put him in the fight for the win in the latter stages of the race.
But an early safety car, which allowed rivals starting on the more fragile option tyres to make a free pitstop, went against Jehan, who had to make his own mandatory stop under full racing conditions and as a result, finished ninth.
Despite the safety car misfortune, Jehan remained unfazed and proved he had the pace to win. Having started eighth, he moved into the lead on lap 9. Once in clear air, he reeled off a series of consecutive fastest laps, lighting up the timing screens with successive ‘purple’ sectors.
He stayed in the lead for more than half the 35-lap race and charged back up to ninth after his pitstop had dropped him down to 14th, while also bagging the extra point for fastest lap along the way.
The Indian’s searing display of pace capped a strong weekend for the Prema driver, who leaves Imola third in the overall standings, having gone into the weekend sixth.
The only driver to have finished on the podium in every round this season, Jehan is now the lead Red Bull junior in the standings.
Daruvala said, “After the fighting for the win yesterday, I was obviously hoping for more. It’s a real shame the safety car came out when it did because we clearly had the pace to win. The car felt great, I was able to get into a really good rhythm and I felt very comfortable in the lead. You can always dwell on the what-ifs but my focus now is very much on carrying this momentum into the next round in Barcelona.”
The fourth round of the Formula 2 championship will be held at Spain’s Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya from May 20 to May 22, alongside the Formula One Spanish Grand Prix.