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Indian motor racing sensation and current F2 race driver Jehan Daruvala targets Formula One by 2023

India's latest Formula racing sensation and Red Bull Junior Team member Jehan Daruvala became the first Indian to win an F2 race, when he won the Sprint race in 2020 Sakhir GP.

Indian motor racing sensation and current F2 race driver Jehan Daruvala targets Formula One by 2023

Jehan with the RedBull racing team (Image Source: Red Bull Racing)


Siddharth Mishra

Updated: 15 Dec 2021 5:44 PM GMT

India has seen a motorsport racing star once in a decade, in the 2000s it was Narayan Karthikeyan, and then in the 2010s it was Karun Chandok, both reached the pinnacle of Formula racing when they became Formula One drivers.

Narayan Karthikeyan became and still remains to be the only Indian to score points in F1 when he was racing for Jordan in 2005. He finished fourth in the USA GP, just placed below the podium spots. He raced for Jordan in 2005, and then for HRT in 2011 and 2012. He set the ball rolling for Indians in Formula racing. Karun on the other hand was the second Indian to get the esteemed F1 racing seat, and he raced for Hispania in 2011 and was a reserve driver for Lotus in 2012.

Almost a decade later, Mumbai-born Jehan Daruvala became the first Indian ever to win an F2 race, when he won the sprint race for Carlin in the last race of the season in 2020. Jehan is a driver at the UK-based team Carlin and is also a member of the RedBull Junior team, and is one of the racing talents to keep an eye on. The young Indian driver in his second in F2 has six podiums and two victories to his name, and he is targeting to reach the highest level of Formula racing by 2023.

"I would love to be in F1 and be successful there. The road is not that simple though. I hope to have another good season in F2, and hope seats open up in 2023. Over the years the level of F2 drivers has been very high" said Jehan, on his target to reach formula one. Over the last few years, the motorsport world has been how good F2 racers are, and they can compete at the highest level. Ferrari Driver Charles Leclerc, McLaren racer Lando Norris, Haas racer Mich Schumacher, Red Bull drivers Pierre Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda are just a few names who are showing their worth in F1, after graduating from F2 racing.

Jehan's love for racing began in 2005 when he started watching Formula One on the television with his family. Race weekends were something he used to look forward to, and this led to him starting Karting in 2010.

"Many people used to switch on the TV to watch cricket, I used to put on the TV to watch racing", these words by Jehan clearly indicate which sport was looking forward to the most in his childhood days.

"I started watching around 2005, and at that time Fernando Alonso was winning world championships with Renault, and he inspired me a lot. I was a huge fan of Alonso". The two-time world champion has inspired a generation of young drivers who are currently in the racing fraternity, and he left a mark on the young Indian driver.

Jehan started Karting in 2010, and it took him only a year to make his mark in Karting. He won numerous championships across Asia and Europe under the coaching of Rayomand Banajee. In 2015, Jehan stepped up to single-seaters with Fortec Motorsport in the Formula Renault 2.0 championships. A year later, he was a part of the Carlin European Formula 3 Championship, where he finished sixth in the championship, outsourcing all of his team except the current McLaren driver Lando Norris.

In 2019, Daruvala competed in the inaugural Formula 3 season for the Prema Powerteam. He won two races: the sprint race in Barcelona and the feature race in Paul Ricard, France. He made his way up to seven podiums and finished third in the championship, only one point behind his teammate Marcus Armstrong.

In 2020 he became a part of the Red Bull Junior Team, and reunited with Carlin, but now with the F2 racing team. The Red Bull junior team has been home to a lot of F1 drivers like Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Daniil Kyvat, and four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel. Jehan was a part of the batch with Japanese racer Yuki Tsunoda, who is currently an F1 driver at Red Bull's sister team Alpha Tauri.

"Honestly it has been great with the Red Bull Team, but because of the ongoing pandemic we have had a lot of restrictions and have not been able to meet the F1 driver, but we go to the factories to prepare with the team", said Jehan on being with the Red Bull team.

"Everyone knows that RedBull is a cut-throat environment, as long as you know you deliver and get results they have faith in you. If not then they can be very cut-throat and drop you out at any point. This is a part and parcel of the sport, and even being a part of this team is a huge achievement for me" Jehan added, on what it feels like to be a part of the Red Bull team.

Jehan's F2 career started slowly, but he picked up pace in the latter half of the season, and finished third in the Bahrain GP feature race, and hence getting his first podium in F2. In the last race of the season in Sakhir, Jehan became the first Indian to win an F2 race, when he was the first one to cross the chequered flag in the sprint race. He finished his debut season in 12th position and stood on the podium twice.

In his second season in F2, Jehan has shifted gears to his performance. He has four podiums to his name, and recently won the Sprint race in Monza, the temple of speed. With two Grand Prixs to go, he is already 24 points ahead of his last season tally and is in 7th position, and in striking distance of the top 5 in the F2 championships.

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