In an immensely proud moment for Indian sport and our community, India’s F1 hope, Jehan Daruvala won the Formula 2 race at the Sakhir Grand Prix, Bahrain. A thrilling battle against F2 Champion – Mick Schumacher and Daniel Tictum saw our 22-year-old Indian racing prodigy emerge on top, in the support race of the Formula 1 Grand Prix.
Jehan had a good launch from 2nd on the grid and was up alongside pole sitter – Daniel Ticktum. Tictum squeezed Jehan on the inside which allowed Championship Leader Mick Schumacher to go around the outside of both of them. Eventually, Ticktum emerged in the lead, followed by Schumacher and Jehan in third. A few corners later Jehan made a good move to pass Schumacher and get into second.
A few laps later Schumacher passed Jehan, to relegate him to third. Jehan however did not give up. A thrilling battled ensued and eventually Jehan got past Schumacher once again, to get back into second. Jehan then reeled off a series of quick laps to catch the race leader. However, Jehan was unable to overtake. The battle for the lead intensified as Ticktum seemed desperate to win the last race of the season. Jehan, however, kept his cool and kept up the pressure. His excellent race-craft forced the race leader to start making mistakes, but Jehan found it tough to get past.
Eventually with less than ten laps to go, Jehan made another fantastic move to get past Ticktum and grab the race lead. Thereafter, Jehan drove well to slowly start opening up a gap to the cars behind. Jehan finally took the chequered flag to win his maiden FIA Formula 2 race. His Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda was second, over 3.5 seconds behind Jehan, while Ticktum was third.
“Motorsport is pretty big in India. We obviously have a lot of people, so I have a big fanbase back home, and my goal, at the end of the day, is not just to do myself proud but also do my country proud and to prove to people from back home that even though we don’t have the same facilities and stuff that guys have in Europe, as long as you can work hard, you can fight right at the sharp end of the grid,” said an elated Jehan.
The Indian National Anthem being heard across the Bahrain International Circuit, was the best possible way for Jehan to end his season first Formula 2 season. Mick Schumacher won the F2 Championship.
Photo Credits – James Gasperotti