Jehan Daruvala completed a hat-trick of podiums after he stormed up the grid from eighth to finish third in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, which runs as a support event to the main F1 race, the French Grand Prix. This was the Indian’s third consecutive podium in four races.
Daruvala’s victory on Saturday in the feature race, meant he had to start from eighth on Sunday, due to the regulations which dictate that the top eight finishers are reversed for the start of the sprint race.
He started well but fell to tenth on lap one, once the lights went out at the F1 circuit in Le Castellet. He battled with Logan Sargeant and Juri Vips before overtaking both racers. He then began to steadily move up the order.
Alex Peroni from Australia, meanwhile continued to lead the race, taking advantage of the battles behind him. Daruvala was soon up to fifth, but faced quite a task with a gap of over 2.4 seconds. He pushed hard and managed to successfully close the gap and move into fourth.
His Prema Racing teammate Robert Shwartzman, had in the meantime grabbed the race lead, with Brazilian Pedro Piquet in second. Daruvala had closed the gap, overtaking Red Bull Racing Junior, Yuki Tsunoda from Japan, to move up into third and soon made an excellent move to overtake Piquet for second.
Not content with second he tried to close the gap to Shwartzman, but in the process of pushing extremely hard right through the race, his tyres were beginning to degrade. He lost a bit of pace and was re passed by Piquet, who was also able to use the DRS to his advantage.
The Indian comfortably held onto third, crossing the finish line behind Shwartzman and Piquet and 5.4 seconds ahead of Verschoor, of MP Motorsport.
“It’s been a good weekend for the team and for me as well. This race was fun actually. At the start, I was a bit surprised by how quick the lights went out and then I was playing it a bit too safe for the first couple of laps. We knew we had the pace and the race was long, but maybe I took a bit too much time,” he said after the race.
“When I got up to P6 the leading group of five cars was quite a long way ahead, and maybe my mistake at that stage was to push too hard to catch them instead of just chipping away. I caught them and passed all of them except Robert. My main goal was to win the race and I was pushing a lot, but Robert was doing the same and I started to struggle with the tires. Pedro did well, he stayed with me using the DRS, and when I started to struggle he passed me for second place.
Two podiums in one weekend are good, now we have to see where we can do better. For me, just the start and the first lap, while the car has been good all weekend. Hopefully, we will have the same result next weekend.” he added.
Daruvala’s impressive performances in front of the Formula 1 teams ensures that he continues to lie second in the championship with 58 points. His next race will be at the RedBull Ring Circuit in Spielberg along with the Austrian Grand Prix the coming weekend.
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