Jehan Daruvala was pleased to end his race winning drought in the FIA European Formula 3 Championship as he took victory in race one at Spa-Francorchamps last Friday.
The Sahara Force India F1 Team junior, racing for a second consecutive season with Carlin Motorsport, started from pole position for the opening race but dropped to third by the first corner, but was soon back fighting for the lead, overtaking Alex Palou on lap three to reassume the position, having already dispatched Marcus Armstrong.
Daruvala was pleased to get the win on the board after a troubled start to the campaign, his first win since taking the chequered flag first in race three at the Norisring more than twelve months ago, and the second consecutive win for Carlin after Nikita Troitskiy’s triumph in race three at Zandvoort two weeks previously.
“After a rather difficult start of the season, I have now scored my second consecutive podium finish already,” said Daruvala. “Moreover, my team Carlin celebrated the second win in a row, which shows that we are now on the right way.
“Here, I didn’t make a good start, but I was able to overtake Alex right after the restart to take the lead. Soon after that, I also managed to pull clear. I reckon that five or six consistently fast laps halfway through the race were particularly helpful in building up an advantage.
“Then, I tried to save my tyres and to keep my gap consistent.”
Daruvala showed he had good pace by climbing from twelfth on the grid to finish third in race two, and even surprised himself with the gains he was able to make, although he did not have the pace to match either Daniel Ticktum or Fabio Scherer up front.
“I have worked my way up from twelfth on the grid to third,” said Daruvala. “Especially in the opening stages, it was a bit turbulent, so that I was able to move up six places. I don’t even know exactly how I did it.
“As Daniel and Fabio were battling in front of me, I was able to close up to them towards the end. However, there was nothing more I could do.”
Daruvala could not make it a hat-trick of points finishes in race three, losing out to Scherer in the closing stages of Saturday’s finale and finishing eleventh.