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Took me just couple of laps to get comfortable in car: Jehan on his maiden stint in F1 car

Jehan Daruvala took two laps to get comfortable in his first run in a Formula 1 car and the Indian driver had an 'unforgettable experience'.

Jehan Daruvala Red Bull Racing F1 F2 podium Monza
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Prema Racing driver Jehan Daruvala (Source: Getty)

By

PTI

Updated: 1 July 2022 5:03 AM GMT

A couple of laps was all Jehan Daruvala took to get comfortable in his first run in a Formula 1 car and the Indian driver says the 'unforgettable experience' has given him a sense of belonging at the highest level though he is not there yet. A total of 130 laps at the iconic Silverstone Circuit in last year's Mclaren also made the 23-year-old from Mumbai eligible for a Super License, which is needed to compete in Formula 1.

Speaking to PTI ahead of the Silverstone race weekend, when he will look to consolidate his top-3 position in the Formula 2 standings, Jehan looked back at one of the best days of his life. "It was definitely one of the best moments of my life. After 10-12 years of hard work, to roll out of the pitlane in an F1 car at Silverstone. There were some nerves initially but after that, I felt at home in the car and felt like I belonged there," Jehan told PTI.

An extensive run on the McLaren simulator before the two-day test last week helped him get used to the complex controls of a Formula 1 car. "The buttons (on the steering wheel), I learned them in the simulator which helped me on the track. Hard to say how close I was to the limit but I felt comfortable within a couple of laps. "Last year's car was one of the fastest cars in any F1 generation ever so it was a big privilege to drive one of those cars."

He is part of the Formula 2 paddock since 2020 but to be around a Formula 1 team set-up was a new experience for the Indian. "In terms of pace, I knew once I get comfortable in the car, going fast was not a problem for me. It was a lot about the experience of being in the car, listening to what the engineers were saying, just being around in Formula 1. Just keep learning basically. "I have been in F2 for a couple of years but F1 is all new to me. So I had my ears wide open," said the Red Bull-backed driver. A lot of Jehan's contemporaries had already got the taste of a Formula 1 car while he waited for the 'right time'.

"It was surely worth the wait. Anytime you jump in an F1 car, it is worth the wait. I would say correct timing with my season going well in F2. I definitely deserved a shot and am glad to be able to do that," said who is currently third in the F2 drivers' standings.

Driving a Formula 1 car was a big step up from F2 but apart from a bit of stiffness in the neck by end of day two, Jehan felt at home. "The people at McLaren were pleased with how it went and my ability to do what they were asking me to do and improve. From a physical point of view, Silverstone is one of the hardest tracks and I had my first ever run there. "I did not struggle at all.

By end of day two, the neck felt a little heavy but apart from that it was all good." On the road ahead, Jehan said all his energies are towards winning the F2 championship. And since a race seat in F1 next year looks unlikely at the moment, he would look to secure the reserve driver's role in one of the teams. "Still a long way to go (in F2). These four rounds before the summer break will be really crucial. After that another four to go. It will be all about catching up with the top two and scoring some feature race wins hopefully. "My race craft has been really good this year.

I have been moving up in almost every start. It is a big step forward from where I was in the previous two years. On the qualifying front, I need to be in the front two rows to have a good chance in the feature race." Jehan, who is yet to win a feature race in F2, added that he doesn't see himself doing a fourth season.

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