Jehan Makes A Third-Place Finish At Italy's Historic Monza racetrack
Indian racer Jehan Daruvala returned to the podium with a third-place finish in the FIA Formula 2 Sprint race at Italy's historic Monza racetrack to make it a double podium weekend for himself. The 23-year-old race car driver from Mumbai began sixth on the starting grid but made the most of a safety car and red flag stoppage of the race to secure a comfortable victory around the revered "Temple of Speed." The win was Jehan’s first this season. It comes after the Red Bull-sponsored driver improved from eighth to third in the Sprint race on Saturday, giving Jehan two podium finishes from two events this weekend and eight for the year. Additionally, the Indian won again at Monza after winning there the previous year, giving him a total of six top-three finishes there.
Nevertheless, he was sixth when the field entered the first chicane, but he dropped to seventh as he lifted in preparation for a safety car following a collision between Ralph Boschung and Theo Pourchaire on the first lap. Jehan was obliged to defend himself from Jack Doohan when on the run to the second Roggia chicane since the safety car didn't come out until much later. Logan Sargeant made it three wide into the chicane as the two raced wheel to wheel in the braking zone. Doohan, with Sargeant and Jehan inside and outside respectively, had nowhere to go and ran into Jehan. However, the Red Bull-sponsored driver sustained just minor injuries and continued racing as the safety car was eventually deployed. At the conclusion of lap 5, the action restarted with Jehan in sixth place. However, Calan Williams' accident at the Ascari chicane resulted in the safety car returning on Lap 8. Jehan pounced on the chance to pit, and his perfectly timed stop finally propelled him into third place once his competitors had done the same. That put him in a great position to fight for the victory when the red flag was raised to let track personnel remove Williams' stranded Trident and fix the barriers. The race resumed after a ten-minute stoppage. As he initially bided his time before applying pressure to the race leader Richard Verschoor and the runner-up Marino Sato, Jehan went on to demonstrate the art of tyre management and racing strategy. On lap 18 of the 30 he passed Sato and was chasing Verschoor. With only five laps remaining, the Trident racer pitted due to tyre degradation, giving Jehan the lead that he would hold onto to the finish line.
Indian motorsport needs some sort of backing. There is a motorsports organisation that supports athletes from karting to F1 in nations like France. Motorsport is an expensive sport and elitist not only in India. We don’t have enough Indians competing abroad. Right now, there’s only Jehan in F2, Kush (Maini) in F3 and a few others here and there. Compared to the rest of the European grid, we are barely any. As Formula One begins its Asian and American swing, the Formula 2 championship, which serves as a support series, will get a little breather. The championship will resume for its final and only round of the year over the weekend of November 18–20 in conjunction with the Formula One Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
Jehan Daruvala, one of the most exciting racing talents in the nation, has revived hopes of an Indian returning to F1 after more than ten years. The 23-year-old driver is the sole Indian competing in F2, which serves as a feeder series for F1. Jehan's third F2 season hasn't gone as he had hoped, but this summer's F1 test with McLaren at the storied Silverstone circuit gave him a boost. He covered 130 laps over two days in the McLaren MCL35M as part of the British team’s Testing Previous Car (TPC) program but a race seat for next season looks tough at this point. He has moved up to sixth place in the standings with 126 points after scoring 31 points this past weekend. The final round will be held in Abu Dhabi in November, and he still has a shot at finishing third in the championship. The Indian driver is currently competing in his third and likely final Formula 2 season.