Jehan Daruvala of India started his Formula 2 title defense with a second-place result in the inaugural round’s Sprint race in Bahrain. Under the championship’s reverse grid rules, the 23-year-old from Mumbai, who competes for Prema Racing and is a member of the Red Bull Junior Team, started fourth after qualifying eighth.
Finishing Second in the First Round
Daruvala’s season-opening podium was built on a strong foundation. After holding off teammate Red Bull junior Liam Lawson in the Carlin, he moved up to third and set his sights on second-placed Ralph Boschung. On lap 3, the safety car was deployed to clear the way for Marcus Armstrong’s stalled Hitech.
It snarled the field, but Jehan, who won his maiden F2 race in Bahrain in 2020, held on to second place, defeating Lawson once more in a wheel-to-wheel fight. Just before the race was delayed for the second time by a Virtual Safety Car, Jehan Daruvala caught and passed Boschung on Lap 16.
As the race resumed, Boschung reclaimed second place. On the 18th lap, though, Jehan reclaimed the lead with a daring move around the outside of the Swiss driver into right-hand turn 4. He was fewer than two seconds behind Verschoor when he crossed the finish line.
Jehan Daruvala said: “We have a lot of positives to take. Finishing second in the first race of the year is a good start. I think we had the pace to fight for the win. Unfortunately, I mistimed the Virtual Safety Car restart which lost us a lot of time and eventually cost us the win. But overall we have a really good car and I’m quite pleased with our start to the season.”
Jehan Daruvala will now start the feature race on Sunday from seventh place, where he qualified. He’s hoping for a good finish to cap off a promising season-opening weekend.
This is Jehan’s third season in Formula 2, the single-seater feeder series that sits below Formula 1. Jehan Daruvala raced for Carlin the previous two seasons before joining Prema Racing this season.
Three of the series’ five drivers’ champions have come from the Italian racing powerhouse, including Ferrari Formula 1 race winner Charles Leclerc and Mick Schumacher, son of seven-time world champion Michael.
Jehan Daruvala, who came third in the Formula 3 standings while competing for Prema in 2019, hopes to follow in the footsteps of these two and become the team’s third consecutive Formula 2 champion. He wants to move up to Formula One in 2023, making him only the third Indian to compete in the sport’s highest category.