Silverstone: Indian racing sensation Jehan Daruvala scripted history as he became the first-ever Indian to go atop the FIA F3 Championship leaderboard momentarily after clinching the second position in an action-packed feature race at the famous Silverstone circuit.
This was Jehan’s fifth podium finish of the season which helped him to take a two-point lead over Russia’s Robert Shwartzman. However, his lead could not last for long as a DNF in the sprint race of the championship saw him slip down to the second position.
Jehan qualified third, a mere tenth behind Estonian racer, Juri Vips who bagged pole with a lap time of 1:43.902. Jehan’s Prema Racing teammate Marcus Armstrong from New Zealand was second, just 0.016 seconds ahead of Jehan.
Jehan was on the attack immediately after the lights went out and overtook Kiwi racer, Armstrong in the first corner itself. But later in the race, Vips took advantage of the scrap behind and was able to open up a sizeable gap to Jehan.
Jehan pushed hard and caught Vips after a few laps, but an incident elsewhere brought out the Virtual Safety Car, requiring Jehan to abort his overtaking attempt to on Vips. Once the safety car was off the track, Jehan was soon all over the back of Vips. They both braked extremely late at one point, while Jehan attempted to overtake around the outside. Jehan went off track, allowing Armstrong in third, to go around the outside of Jehan.
The Indian had to then divert attention from his battle for the lead to keeping Armstrong at bay. He was able to fend him off. Armstrong crossed the line in third, 1.3 seconds behind Jehan. Jehan also had the fastest lap time in the top ten, earning him two crucial points.
“I had quite a good pace. It was great to get onto the top of the championship standings. What I’m pleased about is that the speed was good and we were fighting for the podium again in the sprint race after starting seventh due to the reverse grid. I’m not going to put myself back at all, I’m keeping my head down and keep attacking for the next rounds.” Jehan said after the race.