The only Indian driver in this year's Formula 3 line-up, 20-year-old Jehan Daruvala bags his first win of the season in the inaugural round of the championship at Barcelona.
Italian racing outfit PREMA Racing's Jehan Daruvala started his 2019 Formula 3 campaign with a dominant win in Race 2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, which hosted the inaugural round of this year's championship. Daruvala secured the win with a gap of 2.12 seconds, ahead of Hitech Grand Prix’s Jüri Vips and Trident's Niko Kari, who claimed second and third, respectively. Robert Shwartzman, also belonging to PREMA Racing, won Race 1, in which Daruvala finished 7th overall.
Following the conventional reverse-grid order for Race 2, Daruvala started from the front row in second and was quick to convert it into the race-leading position as he pipped Niko Kari at the first corner. Meanwhile, a collision between Ye Yifei (Hitech Grand Prix) and Artem Petrov (Jenzer Motorsport) in Lap 1 also got the best of Raoul Hyman (Sauber Junior Team by Charouz) and Jake Hughes (HWA Racelab), which sent all four racers off the track into the gravel and brought out the Safety Car. As the race resumed, Niko Kari was right on Daruvala's tail but despite the slipstream benefit, Kari was unable to go past him.
With a healthy lead of about 7.4 seconds built over subsequent laps, Daruvala's progress was soon nullified as another incident in Lap 9, which involved a collision between Simo Laaksonen (MP Motorsport) and Australian driver Alex Peroni (Campos Racing), brought out the safety car yet again. Once again, Daruvala fended off all attacks at the restart of the race as he drove determinedly and finally took the victory, ahead of second-placed Vips by 2.12 seconds.
After Round 1, Shwartzman leads the championship with 37 points while Daruvala, with 23 points, is just one point behind second-placed Christian Lundgaard. The next round of the 2019 FIA Formula 3 championship will take place in France, from June 21-23.