‘I felt at home’: Mumbai racer Jehan Daruvala on his testing debut for McLaren F1 team

Ronald ChettiarUpdated: Friday, June 24, 2022, 05:03 PM IST
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Racer Jehan Daruvala during his testing for McLaren F1 team |

Mumbai racer Jehan Daruvala said that his recent Formula One test debut for world championship-winning team McLaren gave him a good understanding of how teams operate on an F1 weekend.

The 23-year-old drove the Woking-based team’s 2021 race-winning challenger—the MCL35M at the British Grand Prix venue Silverstone.

Physically demanding

“I really enjoyed my first time driving a Formula One car. I felt immediately at home and while it was physically more demanding than anything I have driven in the past, I didn’t have any issues with my fitness. As a result, we were able to work through the run plan well and complete everything we had mapped out. We did a mixture of high-fuel long runs and as well as shorter, low-fuel runs on different tyre compounds. That gave me a good understanding of how teams operate on an F1 weekend,” Jehan said after the test.

“Overall, I’m very pleased with how the two days went, how I coped and the mileage we were able to complete. I felt I was able to push closer to the limit with every lap and I can’t wait to drive one of these cars again.”

The test was Jehan’s first taste of F1 machinery and he chalked up over 130 laps combined over the two days, over twice the distance F1 drivers will cover during next weekend’s British Grand Prix.

Jehan is now eligible for a Formula One superlicence.

The racer, who began karting at the age of 10 in 2009, currently races with Italian team Prema in the Formula 2 championship, the feeder series that sits one step below Formula One, and is third in the overall standings.

Backed by Red Bull

The Red Bull-backed racer, who remains a part of the Red Bull Junior Team is a three-time F2 winner and has scored 12 podiums in the category, including five top-three finishes from six rounds this season alone. He is aiming to become the first Indian to win the Formula 2 title this season and only the third racer from the country to race in Formula One.

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