Mumbai Falcons’ Jehan Daruvala starts his Formula 3 Asian Championship debut on a strong foot
Mumbai Falcons put up an impressive debut performance at the Formula 3 Asian Championship held at the Dubai Autodrome, with Jehan Daruvala clinching third place in Race 1 of the first round. For a team that had a lot of mechanical issues during the pre-season testing, their Round 1 pace and results were commendable. Jehan finished in P3 in Race 1 and P7 in Race 2 and 3. Meanwhile, teammate Kush Maini had a weekend to forget as he not only had issues with the car but was also involved in a couple of crashes.
Heading into Race 1, Jehan and Kush qualified in P4 and P8 respectively. In the race, Jehan had a great start and moved to P3 quickly and defended well to claim the podium finish. Kush on the other hand, was hit by another car and had to pit to repair the damages. This cost him time and he rejoined the race at the back. However, owing to the good race pace, he managed to clock the second-fastest lap time, allowing him to start second in Race 2.
In Race 2, Kush wanted to take advantage of starting high up in the grid but barely 50 metres from the start line, encountered a brake issue and that was it for the youngster. Jehan had a bad start too, but recovered well over the course of the race to finish seventh.
Race 3 was a display of Jehan’s racecraft and pure driving skills. Jehan had a near miss early on in Lap 1 of the race as he spun around while avoiding an incident on the track. He managed to start his car and rejoin the race in 18th position. From then on, in a track with very few overtaking opportunities, Jehan made steady progress to finish in P7. He was by far the fastest driver on track in Race 3 and even set the fastest lap of the race, which was almost 3 tenths of a second faster than any other racer on track. His good run over the weekend helped him finish in seventh position in the overall drivers’ standings with 27 points. The bad luck continued for Kush as he came into the first corner alongside three other cars which led to contact. After repairing the damages, he rejoined at the back of the pack and couldn’t quite manage to finish in the points.
Post race, Jehan said, “I had the pace to win Race 3, but unfortunately there was an incident at the start. I was lucky to avoid any serious damage. Coming from the back was tough, but I really enjoyed overtaking so many cars. The podium in Race 1 was good to have but I am confident we will do better in the remaining rounds.”
In their first international race weekend, Mumbai Falcons have proved that the car has good pace and in the hands of capable drivers like Kush and Jehan, they really could have a brilliant debut season. Next week, the Formula 3 Asian Championship moves to the Yas Marina Formula 1 Circuit in Abu Dhabi, for two back-to-back events.
Watch this space for more updates on Mumbai Falcons’ debut F3 Asian Championship season.