Jehan Daruvala became the first Indian to win in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship as he raced to victory on his first visit to the Norisring in Germany on Sunday. Racing for Carlin, the 18-year-old Indian won at the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit in Nuremberg ahead of championship leader Maximilian Gunther (Prema Powerteam) and teammate Lando Norris.
Daruvala’s victory came 18 years after Naren Karthikeyan, India’s first Formula 1 driver, won in the British F3 Championship. This is the latest in the series of Motorsport milestones for the Indian teen.
The 18-year-old had qualified on the front row for the final race of the weekend, behind Gunther, who was on pole. But he overtook the German right at the start, and while Gunther was close on his heels in the following laps, it wasn’t enough to overtake the Indian.
The Formula 3 rookie showed immense skill to clinch the top spot with two full-course yellow flag periods and made no mistakes despite coming under sustained pressure from Gunther, reported PTI.
“It feels brilliant to get my first F3 win. I have been quick all weekend & it finally came together this race. I knew the start was crucial, so I focused a lot on that. Once I had Max at the start, I just had to ensure that I made no mistakes. The pressure was immense through the race, but I was enjoying myself,” Daruvala said after his win.
A strong haul of points thanks to his sixth and fourth places finishes in the first two races meant that he is now fifth in the overall standings and second in the rookie standings.
The next round of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is scheduled at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps Circuit in Belgium on July 29-30