Jehan Daruvala became the first-ever Indian to lead the FIA Formula 3 Championship leaderboard. However, this only lasted for a brief moment. A DNF in the sprint race caused him to slip down to the second position in the legendary Silverstone championship in the F3.
The podium at the Silverstone was Jehan’s fifth this season. The 20-year-old qualified third on the grid, a mere tenth of a second behind Juri Vips’ laptime of 1:43.902 seconds. Jehan’s teammate Marcus Armstrong was second on the grid. Interestingly, seventeen of the thirty racers on the grid finished with time differences within just one second.
As the lights went out, Jehan overtook Juri and Marcus on the first corner. But Vips managed to regain the lead, fending off Jehan. An incident brought out the Virtual Safety car and Jehan missed the opportunity to seize the lead from Vips. In the head-to-head, both the drivers braked extremely late as Jehan was attempting to take the outer line. After some drama, Jehan overtook Vips since the Estonian racer’s tyres were overheating due to his defensive tactics. But the drama continued as another safety car deployment meant Vips could cool down his tyres. In the end, Vips was able to keep Jehan at bay and finished 0.811 seconds ahead of Indian driver. Fortunately, Jehan had the fastest laptime in the top ten, earning him two crucial points.
Jehan’s fifth podium finish in seven races and his points for fastest lap, propelled the Indian star to the top of the championship standings, after the feature race. Unfortunately, the championship lead did not last long as things fell apart on the last lap of the sprint race for Jehan. As per reverse grid regulations, Jehan started seventh and worked his way up to the fifth place. An intense battle between positions third, fourth and Jehan in fifth, tragically saw Jehan clip the rear of Piquet’s car, which put both drivers out of the race on the last lap. Not finishing the race saw Jehan fall from the championship lead to second in the championship standings.
Jehan’s next race will be at the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend on 3 - 4 August.