Indian F1 hopeful Jehan Daruvala has climbed to the top of the 2021 F3 Asian Championship standings after a nearly flawless Round 2 that saw him finish on the podium in every single race. He ended up winning two out of three races at Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit, completing the last one in 2nd place.
As Daruvala gears up to undertake a second season in Formula 2 with Carlin, he’s spending the winter break competing in F3 Asia, racing for all-Indian outfit Mumbai Falcons.
Daruvala leads 2021 F3 Asia standings
Wins two out of three races in Round 2
Kush Maini endures another tough round
Daruvala wins two races in F3 Asia Round 2
Daruvala kicked off Round 2 on a strong note by securing pole position for Race 1. After briefly battling Evans GP’s Isack Hadjar at the start, he managed to hold on to the lead exiting the first corner. From there on, he remained in firm control out at front, putting in consistently quick laps to comfortably take victory. To add the cherry on top, he even set the fastest lap to bag pole position for the next race.
Race 2 proved to be a far more challenging affair, with Daruvala locked in an epic race-long battle with Hadjar. The 16-year-old from France had the superior machinery, but Daruvala’s years of single-seater experience paid off as he displayed a masterclass in defensive driving. After fending off multiple attacks from both Hadjar and Abu Dhabi Racing’s Dino Beganovic, Daruvala crossed the chequered flag to secure his second consecutive win. Hadjar finished just 0.268sec behind, in 2nd place.
Starting the last race from third on the grid, Daruvala quickly moved up to 2nd place and did well to hold on to that position throughout. Running on older tyres compared to those starting ahead of him, Daruvala admitted that he was simply targeting a podium finish. Pinnacle Motorsport’s Pierre-Louis Chovet ended up winning the race, with Hadjar completing the podium in 3rd place.
“To be honest, I knew this race would be hard because I had older tyres and the guys who started first and second had fresh ones. So the target was to just be on the podium and I came 2nd in the end,” Daruvala said after the final race.
“We can see that the other guys are quite quick as well. I think we can work a bit to improve and I’m sure we can have another good week,” he added.
Another tough round for Kush Maini
Mumbai Falcons’ second driver, Kush Maini, endured another difficult round. He was once again unable to score any points, with his best result being his 11th place finish in Race 2. He completed Race 1 in 12th place and Race 3 in 17th place.
2021 F3 Asia standings
Daruvala, Chovet and Guanyu Zhou have all won two races each after the opening two rounds of the 2021 F3 Asia Championship. Daruvala currently leads the standings with 95 points, but Chovet is just one point behind with 94. Zhou, meanwhile, is third overall with 90 points.
Mumbai Falcons has climbed to third place overall in the team standings, behind Abu Dhabi Racing and Evans GP
There’s no time to rest since the series will continue with Round 3 getting underway tomorrow (February 6) at the same venue.
PHOTO CREDITS: Ishaan Bhataiya / Red Bull Content Pool
Daruvala on the podium for Mumbai Falcons’ F3 Asia debut