Jehan Daruvala becomes the most successful Indian racing driver in an FIA Formula series by securing an overall third-place in the 2019 Formula 3 championship.
India's Jehan Daruvala has achieved an unprecedented milestone, as the Prema Racing driver has secured an overall third-place finish in the inaugural FIA Formula 3 (F3) championship. Despite the gut-wrenching fact that he missed out on a second place by just a point, he has still managed to secure the best championship position (by any Indian racing driver) to date in an FIA Formula racing series. This impressive feat certainly puts him in contention for a seat in the F1 Championship in the coming years.
Incidentally, each of the top-three championship finishers belonged to Prema Racing, making it an extraordinary achievement for the Italian racing outfit as well, as it clinched the constructors’ title by a landslide margin of 304 points. While Robert Shwartzman secured top honours with a total of 212 points, Daruvala’s teammate Marcus Armstrong clinched the second spot by a single point, with a total of 158 points. Daruvala finished third with 157 points. Meanwhile, his debut F3 season comprised two race wins (Round 1 – Barcelona & Round 2 –France) and an overall seven podium finishes.
Heading into the eighth & final round of the championship, which took place in Sochi, Daruvala was trailing Shwartzman by 33 points. Therefore, he needed a win in Race 1 to keep his championship hopes alive. However, he was hit by terrible luck in both his race outings over the weekend. In Race 1, he suffered a bad start, followed by an issue in his brakes. This relegated him to 6th place. Meanwhile, in Race 2, his car stalled during the formation lap, & his 4th-place start turned into a start from the pit lane. Despite the drama, Daruvala drove a determined race and managed to finish in 9th. But, a 5-second post-race penalty for exceeding track limits pushed his final race classification to 14th. This ultimately allowed his teammates to clinch the top two championship spots.