Daruvala gears up for a big challenge

Jehan Daruvala  

India’s Formula One hopeful Jehan Daruvala’s career got a huge boost last week after Red Bull signed him for the junior driver programme and also confirmed his participation in the FIA F2 championship for 2020 with Carlin.

The Mumbai lad finished third in the F3 championship last year and was in the title hunt till the last race and had an impressive season with two wins and seven podiums.

Steady progress

The 21-year-old who was picked by the Force India Formula One team right from his karting days has been making steady progress in the single-seater ladder in Europe and has now reached the penultimate step to F1.

After Force India folded up in 2018, the Indian youngster had no tie-ups with an F1 team but says in hindsight it was a good thing since his performances last year helped him secure Red Bull backing.

Speaking to The Hindu, Daruvala said, “It is a big thing for me. This is the biggest stepping stone for a driver to be part of the Red Bull programme.” The Red Bull programme has produced drivers like Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen, Carlos Sainz Jr.

At the same time, the programme run by Dr Helmut Marko, a former racing driver known for being a taskmaster, is a tough one with no place to hide.

The Indian, though, is unfazed by the tough approach Red Bull employs saying, “It is a good balance of pressure because they give you the opportunity. It is only if you are no longer the right person for them, they drop you. “For the season, there are no specific targets from Red Bull but I would like to be consistently fighting at the sharp end of the grid.”

The season is the most important one for the Indian and he is already looking to fine-tune his race-craft as he steps up a level. “I would like to be a bit more aggressive in opening laps and be a bit more sharp with regard to decision making going into the first turn.”

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 12:51:31 PM |

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