Jehan Daruvala admitted there was some luck involved after securing pole position for the opening race of the FIA European Formula 3 Championship weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, in what turned out to be a rather strange session in the Ardennes Forest.
The Carlin Motorsport driver secured his first pole of the season, and the second of his European F3 career, with a lap of 2:12.983s, 0.010 seconds clear of second placed Marcus Armstrong of Prema Theodore Racing, who currently occupies top spot in the championship standings.
After a long wait in the pits, Daruvala was one of the drivers to leave it late in the session to hit the track for his Qualifying run, and he achieved his time by getting a great tow from team-mate Ferdinand Habsburg in the first sector of the lap, which saw him gain around half a second just down the Kemmel Straight.
“My car handled considerably better, because we have found a few things we could improve after free practice,” said Daruvala, who sits eighth in the championship standings after the first twelve races of the season with three podium finishes. “However, I also have to admit that I had some luck.
“My plan was to find a slipstream, because that is a way to be faster here. I succeeded in doing so and thus, I was able to gain almost half a second only on the straight.
“Because I was at the right point on the track, and thus had a little bit of luck from that perspective, it was enough for pole position.”
Daruvala was unable to match his performance in the second session, qualifying twelfth for race two, although the Sahara Force India F1 Team junior was able to qualify fourth for the final race of the weekend.