Mumbai Falcons clinch third place in the Formula 3 Asian Championship
Mumbai Falcons were third in the Team's Championship in their maiden international season, with Jehan Daruvala bagging the third place in the Driver's standings
The Mumbai Falcons team created history at the Yas Marina Circuit, Abu Dhabi, becoming the first all-Indian team ever to finish in the top three of an FIA Championship. The team, led by the country’s next Formula 1 hopeful Jehan Daruvala – who also clinched the third position in the Driver’s Championship standings – grabbed three podiums during the last weekend of the five-round Formula 3 Asian Championship. Now, though the Falcons missed the second place by a mere two points, an impressive nine podium finishes through the championship means the team has concluded its campaign in style!
The Yas Marina International Circuit was abuzz on Saturday, with the stage set for an explosive season finale on the Formula 1 Grand Prix layout. Kush Maini started Race 1 in fourth position while Jehan started in sixth. For his part, Kush drove a flawless race to earn his maiden podium in the championship, taking advantage of a retirement ahead of him to move into the third position and hold on to it till the end.
Finland’s Patrik Pasma dominated the race after an excellent start, to cross the finish line first. Unfortunately, numerous racers were penalised for setting high speeds during a yellow flag, and it cost him his victory. Chinese racer Guanyu Zhou upstaged him to take the first position, which eventually helped him win the championship as well.
With the grid for Race 2 being decided by the fastest laps in Race 1, Jehan lined up third behind Zhou and Pasma. Pasma had another scorching start to lead the race, while Jehan drove smartly to hold on to the third position, with Kush following him in fourth.
Jehan started Race 3 too behind Zhou and Pasma. The top three made a good getaway and held their positions. Jehan made a lunge down the inside of Pasma into the hairpin, but was unable to make the move stick on the exit. He then made another attempt a few corners later but was unable to get past. Zhou won the last race too while Pasma finished second ahead of Jehan. Kush made a good start from eighth and gained a position. He attempted another move for sixth, but the other driver closed the door, resulting in a contact that dropped him back to eighth.
Jehan, with three victories, two P2 and three P3 finishes, secured the third place in the championship. Meanwhile, Mumbai Falcons secured an unprecedented third in the championship, thanks to the additional podium from Kush. The Indian outfit in their maiden international season was a mere two points away from the more experienced Evans GP team in second.
Moid Tungekar, CEO, Mumbai Falcons said, “This journey has taught us a lot. We have had our share of ups and downs. It is unfortunate that we lost the second place in the championship by just two points in our rookie season, but we will be back stronger. We are proud of how everyone in the team has worked together for a common purpose. Mumbai Falcons intends to grow motorsport in India at all levels and we are looking forward to the journey.”
“Being a part of an all-Indian team in an FIA championship was a proud moment which I thoroughly enjoyed. We finished third in the drivers and the team championship which is a credible achievement in our rookie season and was possible due to the fantastic support we received from Mumbai Falcons,” Jehan Daruvala said.
“Overall, not the smoothest season for me with a lot of engine issues and some unlucky mechanical failures. I am so thankful to Mumbai falcons for always believing in my capability and getting the issues sorted in the end where we finished on a high,” Kush Maini said.
Ultimately, it was a proud moment for the Mumbai Falcons. The first all-Indian team in the F3 Asian Championship has managed a historic third place in both the team and driver’s championship, that too in its maiden outing. We hope to see more such brave endeavours from the team, and soon!