Indian F1 hopeful Jehan Daruvala has kicked off his 2021 Formula 2 (F2) campaign with a strong showing in the opening round in Bahrain. His best result of the weekend came in the form of a 2nd place finish in the first stint race.
Daruvala finishes in the points in all three races
Best result of 2nd place in opening race
Third in the drivers’ championship
Daruvala 2nd in Bahrain sprint Race 1
In a bid to spice up the action out of track, F2 has introduced a new format this season, with each round featuring a total of three races – two sprint races and one feature race. The grid for the main feature race (on Sunday) is determined by the times set in qualifying. The grid for the first sprint race is set by reversing the top 10 finishers in qualifying, while the grid for the second sprint race is set by reversing the top 10 finishers in Race 1.
This is Daruvala’s second year in the championship and he continues racing with Carlin, as part of the Red Bull junior programme. Race 1 is where his experience really paid dividends; starting from 5th on the grid, Daruvala expertly managed his tyres and was soon up to 2nd place. He spent several laps tussling with leader Liam Lawson – who is also a Red Bull junior driver. The battle went down to wire, but Daruvala just couldn’t find a way past and had to settle for 2nd place.
He just missed out on a top three finish in the second sprint race, despite being part of the podium celebrations. The race was a chaotic affair and Daruvala took advantage of a late-race safety car to pit for a fresh set of soft tyres. He then made quick work of the drivers ahead of him to finish 4th on the road. He was briefly promoted to 3rd place after some confusion over Christian Lundgaard’s time penalty. However, Lungaard was later reinstated to 2nd place after the FIA confirmed that he did in fact serve his 10-second penalty during a late pitstop. As a result, Daruvala ended up finishing 4th in the order.
He couldn’t quite replicate a similar result in Sunday’s feature race, with a flat spotted tyre compromising his performance. However, he did end up finishing 6th to collect some valuable points.
“I kept out of trouble at the start of Race 1, and then made sensible moves up the order. Both, Lawson and I, had similar pace towards the end, but it was difficult to pass. It’s good to start the season with a podium,” Daruvala said.
“I enjoyed Race 2 too, with the amount of overtaking in the last few laps. Unfortunately I flat spotted my set of soft tyres, causing severe vibrations that seriously compromised race 3 for me. A big thanks to Carlin for the excellent car which helped me finish in the points in all the races.”
2021 F2 championship standings
Daruvala stands third overall in the drivers’ championship with 28 points, just two points behind Lawson. Alpine academy driver Guanyu Zhou leads the standings with a total of 41 points.
The 2021 F2 season will now go on a lengthy break, with the next round scheduled to take place on May 20-22, in Monaco.
F2 Bahrain GP results
|Sprint Race 1|
|1||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP|
|3||David Beckmann||Charouz Racing System||14.300|
|4||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Powerteam||17.000|
|5||Oscar Piastri||Prema Powerteam||17.500|
|6||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||18.500|
|9||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||27.200|
|10||Jüri Vips||Hitech GP||27.900|
|12||Guilherme Samaia||Charouz Racing System||31.900|
|14||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||33.900|
|17||Gianluca Petecof||Campos Racing||1.06.900|
|18||Alessio Deledda||HWA Racelab||1.08.900|
|Sprint Race 2|
|1||Oscar Piastri||Prema Powerteam|
|2||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||0.774|
|4|| Jehan Daruvala||Carlin||2.494|
|5||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||2.966|
|6||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||3.759|
|7||David Beckmann||Charouz Racing System ||6.387|
|9||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||9.733|
|11||Guilherme Samaia||Charouz Racing System||12.442|
|13||Gianluca Petecof||Campos Racing||17.569|
|16||Jüri Vips||Hitech GP||36.980|
|17||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||48.466|
|3||Liam Lawson||Hitech GP||2.900|
|4||Richard Verschoor||MP Motorsport||4.000|
|7||Robert Shwartzman||Prema Powerteam||12.100|
|8||Theo Pourchaire||ART Grand Prix||18.400|
|10||Matteo Nannini||HWA Racelab||19.800|
|11||David Beckmann||Charouz Racing System||20.900|
|12||Christian Lundgaard||ART Grand Prix||21.200|
|13||Jüri Vips||Hitech GP||27.300|
|15||Ralph Boschung||Campos Racing||31.500|
|16||Guilherme Samaia||Charouz Racing System||40.600|
|18||Lirim Zendeli||MP Motorsport||1.01.900|
|19||Oscar Piastri||Prema Powerteam||3 laps|
PHOTO CREDITS: James Gasperotti
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