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Prema Racing’s Jehan Daruvala entered the season in top form, winning the second race of the heated race weekend at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya in front of an F1 audience. However that wasn’t the only time the Indian national anthem would echo at an international circuit. The young Mumbai-based racer, carried serious pace even at the French GP. Adding valuable points to his season profile, he took yet another win, consecutively his second win at the FIA Formula 3 Championship. The win earned him enough points to push him up to second on the leaderboard.
Jehan pushed hard even in qualifying, in an effort to stay on pole. At the end of the session, HWA Racelab Racing Team’s Jake Hughes carried better speed around the 5.8km circuit and grabbed pole by a mere eight hundredths of a second.
The Force India protégé was unable to make a good start from the front row of the grid, as the lights went out and fell down to third on the grid. Brazilian Pedro Piquet, son of Formula 1 Champion Nelson Piquet took advantage to take second place from Jehan.
In a matter of a few laps Jehan made amends and soon got past the Brazilian, but in the meantime, pole sitter, Jake Hughes had managed to open a gap of over 2 seconds over Jehan. The Indian put in some blistering laps to come within DRS range of the leader & soon made a brilliant move down the inside of the Briton from four car lengths behind. Jehan had to work hard to keep Hughes behind him as they exited from the corner, and successfully managed to keep him at bay.
Jehan was consistently quicker thereafter and managed to open up a gap behind him. He continued to pull away to cruise to victory by 2.8 seconds from his Prema Racing teammate, Robert Shwartzman, who had also managed to gain a position to finish second ahead of Piquet.
“I’m really happy for today’s result as the pace was extremely good throughout the whole race. At the start, I didn’t go off the line as I would have liked to, but I did not need to over push, I tried to stay in the DRS zone of Pedro and I got the job done on the first lap of DRS. Then I started hunting Jake. At the beginning I was just recovering a couple of tenths here and there, I tried not to push too much and stay in pace. In sector 3 I was strong compared to him. When I got in the DRS zone I managed to get him before the last corner and had the DRS on the main straight. I have been good in sector 3 for the whole week so I knew that if I could hold him off, I would have the chance to pull away and it went according to plan. After that, the car was as good as it could be and I could manage the gap.” Said Jehan after the race.
Jehan will now start the second race of the weekend in 8th place, thanks to the regulations which dictate that the top eight finishers, from race one, are reversed for the second race.