Jehan Daruvala’s first participation at Formula 3’s blue riband event was a mixed bag, but definitely one to build on.
Nineteen-year-old Jehan Daruvala had a mostly rough outing in his first Formula 3 Macau GP as the Indian had brushes and hits with the barriers around the unforgiving 6.120km, 19-turn Guia street circuit throughout the free practice sessions.
It compromised his tyre choices for qualifying and the qualifying and main races with the Mumbai native being stuck towards the end of the top 15 out of the 26-driver field of the best talent on offer at the F3 level.
However, chaos towards the end of the main race and his own overtaking prowess led to a top-ten-finish. Which, under the circumstances, was not the worst possible result for Daruvala.
Of course, the focal point of the race was the last two laps. Dan Ticktum leap-frogged Daruvala’s Carlin teammate Lando Norris, along with another driver to take third place on the penultimate lap of the 15-lap race. Then on the last lap, Ferdinand Hapsburg made two attempts to take the lead of the FIA Formula 3 World Cup from Sergio Sette Camara. The first was unsuccessful and then the second led to one of the most dramatic finishes to a motor race. Hapsburg’s attempt on the outside of the last corner – a 90-degree right hander – was successful for a second or two, until both he and Camara went wide into the barrier.
Ticktum graciously picked up the win from Norris while Daruvala benefitted from Camara’s retirement (Hapsburg limped across the finish line with three wheels on his car to take fourth). Daruvala’s resulting tenth place was thus a result of his own efforts to make it through the field, a newer set of tyres than everyone else after getting hit early forced him to pit and then Hapsburg and Camara fortuitously heading off into the barrier.
All in all, not an ideal Macau GP debut for the Indian, but something to build on should he choose to participate again. It is unclear, at the moment, whether Daruvala will do a repeat of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship or compete in the GP3 Series.
By the time you read this, Daruvala would have already taken part in the GP3 test in Abu Dhabi after the F1 season finale. The future path for India’s brightest circuit racing talent should be a lot clearer after that.