India’s Jehan Daruvala began his 2021 FIA Formula 2 Championship campaign on a bright note, clinching second place in Race 1 during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend on Sunday.
Jehan showed his mettle in the second race too, climbing from 11th to fourth after a brilliant run, but missed a second straight podium finish by a whisker.
In the final race, he started at sixth and although he did move up and down the order, he had to settle for a sixth place finish that put him third in the points standings, after Round 1 of 8.
“I kept out of trouble at the start of Race 1, and then made sensible moves up the order. Both Lawson and I had similar pace towards the end, but it was difficult to pass. It’s good to start the season with a podium,” the Red Bull Racing Junior driver said after his victory.
“I enjoyed Race 2 too, with the amount of overtaking in the last few laps. Unfortunately, I flat spotted my set of soft tyres, causing severe vibrations that seriously compromised race 3 for me,” added Jehan.
Earlier, Jehan qualified sixth out of 22 racers on the grid but started on P5, owing to the reverse grid rule for the opening race. He began smartly, overtaking the car ahead go him to move into fourth position.
Jehan then drove intelligently, staying just behind the pack, without pushing hard to protect his tyre life. Halfway through the race, he began mounting pressure on German racer David Beckmann for third. He succeeded by first pushing him hard into a corner and then overtaking around the outside, to move into third.
French racer, Theo Pouchaire who had started on pole was next. Jehan quickly closed the gap and just as he was about to make a move, the Frenchman’s car suffered a technical issue, allowing Jehan to move up to second.
Race leader Liam Lawson of New Zealand, was 2.7 seconds ahead. Jehan reeled off a series of good laps to quickly close the gap with the leader. The extreme Bahrain heat, however, meant that all the drivers were finding it tough to overtake, and Jehan was unable to make a serious attempt for the race lead.
Jehan ultimately crossed the finish line, less than a second behind Lawson who won the race. Such was the pace of the lead duo that Beckmann, in third, finished over 13 seconds behind Jehan.
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