Belgium: Indian driver Jehan Daruvala completed an exhilarating pole to flag victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship on Friday.
Formula 1 hopeful Jehan also had the fastest lap to his name in race one of the weekend at the legendary Spa Francorchamps circuit.
The teenage racing sensation from Mumbai, had a tense qualifying earlier on Thursday, and began setting lap times with only five minutes left for the session to end.
Jehan was fifth on the timesheets after his first lap and improved to provisional second on the next lap. On his third and last effort, Jehan gave it everything for a brilliant lap to bag pole position by 0.10 seconds ahead of the then championship leader Marcus Armstrong of New Zealand. Jehan managed to lap the 7km circuit in a time of 2:12.983, while Spaniard, Alex Palou was third, two tenths behind Jehan.
Jehan, unfortunately, lost ground, when the lights went off to start the race today. His car bogged down and by the first corner Jehan had fallen to third. As the leaders accelerated out of the iconic Eau Rouge corner, Jehan took advantage of the slipstream and muscled his way into second. Soon, an incident behind the leaders, brought out the safety car for 2 laps.
The race resumed with Palou retaining his lead ahead of Jehan, who in turn faced no threat. Once again, out of Eau Rouge and onto the long Kemmel Straight, Jehan went around the outside of Palou to grab the race lead.
Jehan thereafter had to ensure that he immediately put in a bit of a gap, to avoid being overtaken once again due to the slipstream effect. He managed to do that successfully, opening up a six-tenth advantage over Palou.
The former CIK FIA Asia Pacific Karting Champion, continued his dominance over the rest of the field, pulling out over 2 tenths of a lap over everyone else. The Spaniard too, did not face any challenges as the two leaders were in a class of their own, pulling away throughout.
Jehan then pulled off a series of fastest race laps to move out of Palou's reach completely, before easing off a bit, at the end. The Indian eventually won the race with a comfortable margin of 3.2 seconds ahead of Palou and a massive 11.9 seconds ahead of Estonian racer, Ralf Aron in third.
The victory was also Jehan's fourth podium of 2018 in the FIA F3 series, which is arguably one of the toughest stepping stones to reach Formula 1.
The start was not ideal, but I kept my cool as I knew we were quick. Once I was ahead, I just had to make sure I made no mistakes. A lot of credit goes to the team for all the effort that they have put in, said Jehan.
Updated Date: Jul 28, 2018 13:19 PM