Having joined one of the profitable F2 groups in Prema, Daruvala is aware of 2022 goes to be a make-or-break 12 months for his F1 aspirations.
Indian F1 hopeful Jehan Daruvala is gearing up for his third, and what may very effectively be his remaining, 12 months racing in Formulation 2. Whereas the final two seasons didn’t precisely go to plan, 2022 might be the breakthrough he was on the lookout for as he joins reigning champions Prema.
2021 was a combined season for Jehan. Whereas he clinched two race wins (at Monza and Abu Dhabi) and 5 podiums, his season was additionally marred by fairly a couple of missed probabilities and lackluster qualifying tempo at instances. Nonetheless, he wrapped up the season in seventh place general within the drivers’ championship – an enchancment on his 12th place standing in 2020.
Wanting again, the 23-year-old from Mumbai says “it wasn’t a foul season”. He provides, “Simply general as a workforce, we weren’t quick sufficient persistently.”
However any good sportsperson is aware of the important thing to success is studying out of your errors and dealing in your weaknesses. And Daruvala has a fairly clear concept of what areas he desires to give attention to. “Qualifying is an apparent one,” he factors out, including, “It shouldn’t actually be an excessive amount of of an issue this 12 months. The principle factor is my racecraft and to persistently keep aggressive, be decided after I’m overtaking and defending.”
Eyes on the prize
Having signed with Prema, Daruvala joins one of the profitable groups in F2. The Italian squad has delivered three of the collection’ 5 champions, together with Charles Leclerc, Mick Schumacher and 2021 champion Oscar Piastri.
He additionally finds himself in acquainted territory at Prema, as he’d raced for them in F3 and was even a part of their F2 post-season take a look at final 12 months. “Now we have a robust relationship,” Daruvala explains. “I used to be there in 2019, that 12 months I challenged for the title in F3 and regardless that I wasn’t there for the final two or three years, I nonetheless felt at dwelling as quickly as I got here again. The take a look at was actually optimistic, each brief runs and lengthy runs have been fairly good. However once more, testing is testing, we’ll solely understand how it’s once we begin racing. However yeah, I nonetheless see a couple of acquainted faces from my F3 days. So I do know fairly a couple of of them and I really feel at dwelling.”
With all the correct substances seemingly in place, Daruvala doesn’t wish to accept something lower than the title. “I positively imagine that I’m adequate to win the championship. Now it’s all about chopping out the errors that I’ve made,” he says.
In fact, the gravity of the state of affairs isn’t misplaced on Daruvala; he’s conscious that if he desires to make it to F1, then he’s going to should be combating for the championship this 12 months. Crimson Bull has additionally determined to maintain him on as a part of their junior workforce for one more season. And whereas it’s a giant deal for any younger driver to be a part of one of the prestigious racing programmes on the market, there’s a entire different degree of scrutiny that comes with this.
When requested if that is essentially the most strain he’s ever felt, Daruvala replies: “Just about on efficiency, I might say, yeah. This 12 months might be going to be my final 12 months of F2. So if I wish to go to F1, this needs to be the 12 months that I carry out effectively and present everybody that I’m good. I’ll simply go away my actions on observe, attempt to do effectively, attempt to win the championship. After which in seven to eight months’ time, I must see the place my future takes me.”
However he’s not treating the added strain as a burden and is as an alternative making an attempt to remain targeted on the racing itself. “I’ll attempt to do in addition to I can for all of the races. I do know that the automotive is nice, I do know that if I drive effectively, I can at all times be combating within the entrance. So there is no such thing as a level placing added strain on myself, there’s anyhow going to be strain. So I believe, I simply must take pleasure in my racing, and I’m certain the outcomes will come,” he says.
It’s a reasonably large and numerous motorsport enviornment on the market, from different single-seater collection like Formulation E to rallying and even sportscar racing. Daruvala admits, “Clearly, my solely objective is Formulation 1. However I’m not going to cease racing or give up racing if I don’t go to F1. So clearly there are different components which I’ll have a look at.”
Whereas he isn’t ruling something out for the longer term, for now no less than, Daruvala has one unwavering objective and that’s to be the third Indian driver to interrupt into F1. We’re going to have to attend to see if the upcoming 14-round season takes him a step nearer to that objective.