The high flying Jehan Daruvala put up another strong performance in the Round 2 of the FIA F3 Asian Championship at the Yas Marina International circuit. The All-Indian Mumbai Falcons team came into this round after showing great pace in the Round 1 at Dubai.
They were right on the pace through the practice session and the 2 qualifying sessions that took place on 4th of February. Jehan Daruvala put up a top-notch effort to claim the first pole position for Mumbai Falcons for Race 1. Jehan’s teammate Kush Maini also had a decent effort in the first run but his lap time was deleted because of track limits. He ended up qualifying 15th for Race 1. The second qualifying session which decides the grid for Race 3 proved to be a better outing for Kush Maini as he managed to qualify 8th. Jehan though lost out to the very fast Pierre-Louis Chovet a.k.a PLC and Guanyu Zhou. He would start Race 3 from 3rd on the grid.
Race 1 –
Race 1 was a complete dominance from the Indian driver, Jehan Daruvala. He never looked back right from the start of the race. As the confident driver would say in the pre-race interview that if he goes into Turn 1 in the lead, he is going to win the race and he very much stuck to his words. He capped off a brilliant drive to win the race and handed Mumbai Falcons their first ever victory in Formula 3 Asia series. He also took the fastest lap of the race which means he again starts on pole position for Race 2 as the grid for Race 2 is decided based on the fastest laps by the drivers in Race 1. Kush Maini though struggled to make it into the points, but he surely improved his starting position for Race 2 by clocking the 10th fastest lap of the race. The dynamic Dino a.k.a Dino Beganovic had a heart break as his engine gave up on the last lap of the race when he was in 4th position.
Race 2 –
Starting Race 2 from pole position meant Jehan Daruvala could use up his fresher set of tyres and go all out for another win, and he did the same. Albeit this win was not as straight forward as in race 1. He was put under immense pressure by the charging Isack Hadjar, who punched above his weight to follow Jehan corner after corner. Jehan, though showed great composure and made no mistakes. He made some really good defensive moves to hold Isack’s challenge till the finish. Jehan, thus made it 2 race wins from as many races in Round 2. Isack Hadjar and Dino Beganovic secured the rest of the positions on the podium. Championship Leader Guanyu Zhou finished fourth and Jehan’s teammate Kush Maini dropped one place from his starting position and finished 11th.
Race 3 –
Race 3 had drama right from the start of the formation lap as Dino Beganovic failed to get off the line from 7th on the grid. He eventually made it to the grid slot though as he managed to get going. There were more problems at the start though, and this time it was for his teammate and championship leader Guanyu Zhou who stalled on the grid at the start. With the 2nd placed Zhou having a disaster of a start, Jehan moved up a place into second. The safety car was brought in for 4 laps to clear a coming together of two cars. On the restart, it was the pole sitter Pierre Louis Chovet who rocketed off to build a huge gap from the rest of the pack. Jehan though again had to fend off a charging Isack Hadjar again as in Race 2. Kush Maini was running as high as 11th after falling back while avoiding the stalled car of Zhou at the start. He further dropped down to 17th by the end of the race.
With 2 race wins and a 2nd place finish, Jehan Daruvala climbed to the top of the driver’s standings with 95 points. He is followed by Pierre Louis Chovet with 94 points and Guanyu Zhou with 90 points.
In the constructor’s standings, Mumbai Falcons climbed to 3rd position with 95 points. Abu Dhabi racing team lead the standings with 151 points, followed by Evans GP with 102 points.
The Round 3 of races are set to be run over the 6th and 7th February at the Yas Marina International Circuit. We, as Motorsport enthusiasts, wish Mumbai Falcons all the best. To get the live racing updates, please visit the Youtube channel of Mumbai Falcons Racing Team.