There are promising signs for an Indian driver to race in the top league of Formula racing. Jehan Daruvala will be taking one big step towards realising his Formula 1 dream as he makes his Formula 2 debut at the Austrian Grand Prix. Identified by the Sahara Force India team for its young driver programme, Daruvala was signed this year by F1 giants Red Bull Racing for its junior driver programme.
Driving for Carlin Racing in pre-season testing, the 21-year-old clocked the fastest lap twice and had a consistent pace. However, the season was then delayed by the pandemic. Last year, Daruvala finished an impressive third in the Formula 3 Championship last season, missing out on the second spot by just one point.
Red Bull Racing inducted Jehan Daruvala in February into their junior program, which has played an instrumental role in the rise of Sebastian Vettel, who helped the team win four titles between 2010-13, Daniel Ricciardo, Alex Albon and the outfit’s current star Max Verstappen. It was announced then that the Daruvala would return to Carlin Racing for his maiden stint in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, which runs alongside the Formula 1 season.
If all goes well, Daruvala will be the third Indian to race in Formula 1 after Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok. “Red bull approached me at the end of last year and it is a big honour to be associated with them. Yes, there is added pressure but I have come to a stage where I don’t let it get the better of me,” he was quoted as saying earlier.
He was also in the title running for the major part of the Formula 3 season alongside Prema teammates Marcus Armstong and Robert Shwartzman, who eventually won the championship by a comfortable margin.
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