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 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.
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!!