Jehan Daruvala’s drive through the 2021 Formula 2 season | 2021 F2 Season Rundown
Jehan Daruvala, the Indian Red Bull driver in Formula 2 has completed his third year at the championship and in the 2021 season, he has finished P7 in the driver’s championship table. Through the season, Jehan has been able to work a lot better with the Carlin Racing and the car as compared to the previous year. Jehan won two races, took five podium finishes and scored 113 points to showcase his advancements with the team when compared to last year. His win at the Temple of Speed, Monza was something to remember as it was a dominant performance over the rest of the field. But, he also had a few struggles and sheer bad luck over the season that didn’t allow him to end higher in the driver’s championship table. With that said, let us look at Jehan’s journey through the 2021 F2 season and see what lies ahead of him in one of the biggest circuses in the motorsport industry.
At the beginning of the 2021 season, Jehan was hit with Covid-19 and that was not what he needed after his first 2020 season with Carlin. His first season at Carlin was a little struggle as he finished P12 overall. But Jehan did manage to score a victory in the final race of the 2020 season at Bahrain. That victory was also important as Red Bull continued its faith in the young Indian and backed him for a second year with Carlin.
But as the season started, he was able to perform well right off the bat. Over the three races in Bahrain, he scored P2 in the Sprint Race 1, P4 in Sprint race 2 and P6 in the Feature Race. Now, Bahrain has been a strong track for Daruvala. And the push and motivation he needed to gain confidence with Carin Racing came through the 28 points he scored in Bahrain.
A pattern emerges
Jehan’s start was phenomenal but he struggled to get the car under control in the tight roads of Monaco. With his Feature race in Monaco ending in retirement, he was only able to take away one point from the three races. The same pattern continued for the following two race weekends.
On one side he was able to get his second podium of the season in Baku, a P3 in Sprint Race 2. He started the race from P6 and managed to finish on the podium. But on the other side, the following race week in Silverstone was something for him to forget. He displayed a good pace in the Free Practice session as he finished P5 on the timesheet, just four-tenths off the leader.
But, he was not able to carry the momentum into the races and came out with just three points from the weekend. However, there was more to him than met the eye as he would slowly gain momentum in the second half of the season.
A strong second-half
The second half of Jehan’s season was like the second half of a Manchester United football match. Manchester United is generally laid back in the first half of the match, and they tend to do the best when they have their backs against the walls in the second half.
After the disappointment in Silverstone, he was able to strike back with a dominant performance in Monza. His performance and racecraft in Sprint Race 2, Monza was a masterpiece. He finished first in the race, finishing six seconds ahead of Bent Viscaal in P2. He was able to milk 25 points from the three races in the Monza weekend.
Sochi’s Feature race was also a highlight for the Indian as he finished P3 in the Feature Race. This was damage control for the weekend as he finished P12 in the first Sprint Race and the second Sprint Race got cancelled.
Jeddah was a slump yet again as he failed to score any points from the three races held at the new circuit. He struggled with pace from the beginning of the weekend, but he managed to stay out of accidents on the new high-speed circuit.
On the final weekend in Abu Dhabi, Jehan won the first Sprint Race 1 after starting from pole. He was able to manage his tyre life and maintain a solid pace for the entirety of the race.
In the end…
After a year of 24 races, Jehan managed to finish P7 in the driver’s championship table with 113 points, which was just seven points off Juri Vips in P6. He managed to beat the likes of Felipe Drugovich and Liam Lawson, who finished behind the Indian by just a few points.
Jehan has improved from his first year in Carlin and it is likely that he will get a contract for his third year. He has been testing the Dallara F2/18 car with the team in Bahrain ahead of the 2022 season. He has been churning out decent lap times and has been doing a lot of laps and this can give us a hint of the team’s trust in Jehan for the season ahead.
The 2022 Formula 2 season will be the biggest season so far with 14 rounds and 28 races on the calendar. The championship will start on March 18, 2022, at Sakhir, Bahrain. For more news from the world of motorsports, stay tuned to evo India!