Jehan Daruvala’s second F1 test with McLaren on July 18-19
The dream of an Indian driver’s return to Formula 1 now seems only a couple of steps away, as Jehan Daruvala gears up for his second F1 test, which will be a two-day affair spread over July 18 and 19 at the Portimao Race Circuit in Portugal. The Indian racer will once again get behind the wheel of the McLaren MCL35M, which he drove on his first F1 test at Silverstone last month. Jehan drove 130 laps of the circuit on his first test. The MCL35M was also driven last week by IndyCar driver Colton Herta, and McLaren test and development driver Will Stevens.
Jehan Daruvala will become the third only Indian after Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok to feature in what is the peak of the sport. Daruvala is said to have impressed the McLaren racing team with his fitness and his ability to adapt to the F1 car at a quick pace.
Mumbai Falcons, who are supporting Jehan’s Formula 2 title bid, said, “The second McLaren test marks yet another milestone in Jehan’s journey to Formula One. He impressed on his Formula One debut at Silverstone and we are confident that with this second test Jehan will continue to prove that he belongs on the grand prix grid. This is a truly gratifying moment for Indian motorsport and for us particularly. Our mission is to showcase the best of Indian motorsport talent to the world and we are proud to support Jehan as he pursues his dream of becoming only the third Indian to race in F1.”
Meanwhile here’s what Jehan had to say about his tests, “My first taste of Formula One machinery was surreal and I can’t wait to get back in the car again in Portimao. I came away from the Silverstone test with a lot of confidence as both from a driving and physical perspective I did well and covered more than two race distances absolutely trouble-free. My dream has always been to race in Formula One and this test will build on what we achieved at Silverstone. I am thankful to both Red Bull and McLaren for giving me this opportunity and continuing to support my development.”
The fact that Jehan Daruvala is gearing up to make this dream a reality is an exciting prospect for Indian motorsports in general, as it would encourage more people to take up motorsport as a career, and perhaps add to the tally of Indians featuring in F1. Could this also mark the beginning of a potential return of F1 in India? Only time can tell!