Daruvala gets first taste of F1

Jehan Daruvala drove a Formula One car for the first time when he tested last year's McLaren at Silverstone as part of his bid to become the third Indian to race at the pinnacle of motorsport.

The Red Bull junior driver, third in the Formula Two standings and already qualified for an F1 super licence, was behind the wheel on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"This is nothing related to me getting a drive next year in F1 but I have this chance to be in an F1 car and do well. If I do get the opportunity, I want to be ready," he said.

Daruvala is the highest-placed Red Bull junior in F2 but is in his third season and progressing up the ladder looks difficult for the 23-year-old.

Red Bull's main F1 team has world champion Max Verstappen and Mexican Sergio Perez on multi-year deals, while sister team AlphaTauri confirmed Frenchman Pierre Gasly for 2023.

Japan's Yuki Tsunoda, a Honda protege, is also likely to remain.

Last year's Formula Two champion, Australian Oscar Piastri, has yet to secure a race seat but is Alpine reserve driver. The Renault-owned team is confident that he will be racing somewhere in F1 next season.

India's Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok raced in F1 at a time when it was easier for those bringing sponsorship to secure a seat.

Daruvala, a "one in a billion" find in a competition set up by tycoon Vijay Mallya and the now-defunct Force India team, could be the best his country has produced, yet may still have less chance of making it.

He told Reuters earlier this year that 2022 was a make-or-break year and he would not give up on his dream.

"I don't see why I can't get a seat in the future if I win the championship and am the most successful Red Bull junior," he said.

"Formula One is my dream and even if there is just a 5 per cent chance of me going to F1, I will wait for that opportunity."

Reuters

 
 
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