The All-Indian Mumbai Falcons team ended their first Formula 3 Asia campaign with an impressive third place in the constructor’s championship. The team piloted by two of India’s high hopes for a representation in Formula 1, Jehan Daruvala and Kush Maini, managed to secure 3 podiums in the final round of the championship held at Yas Marina International circuit.
Highlights of the championship –
Post the success in F3 Asian Championship, Jehan Daruvala is going to continue for a second year with Carlin in FIA Formula 2 championship and Kush Maini is expected to land up a drive in the Formula 3 championship.
The regional F3 Asian Championship began last weekend at the Dubai International circuit with 3 races being organized across the weekend. The season will go ahead with another 2 rounds of races at the Yas Marina Circuit from 4th to 7th February.
Of all the participants, Mumbai Falcons is an All-Indian team with Armaan Ebrahim as the team principal and two of India’s high hopes in Motorsports – Jehan Daruvala and Kush Maini at the wheel. The team showed great pace across the practice sessions and the two qualifying sessions with Jehan and Kush qualifying at P4 – P8 and P5 – P8 respectively.
India’s recent Formula 2 race winner, Jehan Daruvala continued his rich form with a podium in Race 1. Kush Maini had an unfortunate Lap 1 incident which meant he had to make a pitstop and came out plumb last. He showed great pace though as he kept the fastest lap of the race for most of the race distance only to get out-witted by the experienced Guanyu Zhou in the last few laps to take the fastest lap. Zhou went on to win the race with another F2 driver – Roy Nissany of Israel finishing second. Jehan came home third and completed an all F2 podium for race 1. Kush Maini ended up with the second fastest time of the race.
Race 2 starting grid positions meant a great chance of victory or a podium for Kush Maini as he was slotted to start from the front row of the grid in second place, but luck was not on his side. Such was his torrid luck this weekend that he could barely move a few meters from the grid and had to retire with mechanical issues – expected to be clutch related. Jehan Daruvala finished P7 in race 2 and his pace was not the best as he had opted to race with the used tyre set and preserve the fresh one for Race 3. Zhou, who started on pole and opted to start with a fresh tyre set made use of the fresh rubber to great extent to end up with another win under his belt.
Race 3 had more drama as far as the Indian team was concerned and sadly it was again Kush Maini who was at the receiving end. He had a decent getaway from 8th on the grid but braked a bit late going into Turn 1 and made the cardinal sin of collecting his team-mate Jehan Daruvala in the process. Guanyu Zhou, who won the first 2 races was also caught up and had to retire on Lap 1 with a right rear broken suspension. Both Jehan and Kush fell to the back of the grid but Jehan showed great pace and came home 7th by the end of the race. Jehan kept the fastest lap of the race to his name.
The championship is currently being led by Zhou with 50 points and is closely followed by Pierre-Louis Chovet (nicknamed PLC) and Dino Beganovic (nicknamed Dynamic Dino). Jehan Daruvala is placed 7th with 27 points and Kush Maini is yet to open his account. In the constructors, Abu Dhabi racing team backed by Prema lead the way with 96 points. Mumbai Falcons are currently 5th on the standings.
Mumbai Falcons had a very good outing scoring 27 points in the 3 races, but we hope Kush joins the party as well in the next 2 rounds and they show their true potential. For all the motorsport enthusiasts, who would want to follow the F3 Asian Championship closely, the qualifying and the races are live streamed on the YouTube channel of Mumbai Falcons team.
Let’s get behind the Indian team and cheer them!!
The long run to Turn 2 at Sochi Autodrom often provides first lap carnages with many missing the braking points with the cold tires. A first lap crash today eliminated Christian Lundgaard who is 3rd in the championship currently. Jehan Daruvala, who started from P2, lost one position right at the start to Mick Schumacher and one more during the pitstops, pitting 2 laps earlier than his fellow competitors. He ended up P5 and will be starting from P4 for tomorrow’s sprint race.
The Ferrari backed Mick Schumacher – son of 7th time Formula 1 World Champion, Michael Schumacher extended his lead in the Formula2 2020 world championship by winning the feature race. He was followed by Honda backed driver, Yuki Tsunoda, who made an incredible move on the other Ferrari backed driver Callum Ilott to take 2nd position. The podium was completed by Callum Illot but not before we had a photo finish with Luca Ghiotto crossing the line just 0.025 seconds behind Illot. Jehan Daruvala who started in P2 finished P5 adding 10 more points to his tally. The top 10 was rounded out by Jack Aitken – who put his mighty defensive driving on display, fellow Russian Nikita Mazepin, Guanyu Zhou, Marcus Armstrong and Dan Ticktum.
With the sprint race being a reverse grid race for the top 8. Zhou starts on pole position followed by Mazepin and Aitken. Jehan Daruvala would be starting from P4 and holds a chance to show another strong outing.
The start of 1st part of qualifying was greeted by a huge set of dark clouds hovering over the Sochi Autodrom. Valterri Bottas set the pace early on and was followed by his teammate Lewis Hamilton – 0.3seconds down. A bunch of drivers had their lap time deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 2. The 1st part of qualifying ended with 5 slowest cars being eliminated which were both the Alfa Romeo’s of Antonio Giovinazzi (P17) & Kimi Raikkonen (P20) – who made a mistake in his final run, both Hass F1 drivers – Romain Grosjean (P16) and Kevin Magnussen (P18) and the Williams of Nicolas Latifi (P19). George Russell continued his superb run on Saturday’s qualifying with a mega lap to get into Q2 by going almost a second quicker than his teammate Nicolas Latifi. The top 15 drivers moved to the 2nd part of qualifying.
The start of 2nd part of qualifying started with both the Mercedes cars and the Redbull of Max Verstappen going out on mediums as opposed to softs by the rest. Lewis Hamilton had his lap time deleted for track-limits and Daniel Ricciardo of Renault put in a mega lap on softs to go P1. The session was interrupted by a huge crash for the 4-time world champion, Sebastian Vettel, who lost the rear end of his car during a timed lap. The session was red flagged with 2:15 minutes left and with fast cars like Alex Albon, Lance Stroll and Lewis Hamilton still languishing in the bottom 5 – elimination zone. Hamilton made a dash to the line after the session resumed with Albon and Hamilton improving their times and the 5 cars to be eliminated where the two Scuderia Ferraris of Charles Leclerc (P11) and Sebastian Vettel (P15), the Alpha Tauri of Danill Kvyat (P12), Racing point of Lance Stroll (P13) and the Williams of George Russell (P14).
The final part of qualifying which is a shootout for pole position and determining the order of top 10 on the grid for the race tomorrow started with all cars out immediately for their first runs. Lewis Hamilton maintained a comfortable lead over his teammate Bottas throughout the session. Lewis Hamilton bettered his fast lap his final run to claim pole position and the Mercedes cars were separated by the Red bull of Max Verstappen who pipped Valterri Bottas for P2 by 0.1s. Sergio Perez continued his good run with posting the 4th quickest time. The two Renaults of Daniel Ricciardo and Estaben Ocon were separated by the McLaren of Carlon Sainz Jr. Lando Norris, Pierre Gasly and Alex Albon rounded off the top 10.