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Almost every single notable F1 racer from Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg to Lewis Hamilton has raced on F3 circuits. Jehan Daruvala made his incredible debut here this year, after two seasons in Formula Renault 2.0. Jehan came away from the first event 3rd in the Rookie Championship and 8th in the overall table.
The Mumbai-based racer had a lot riding on him and, even though weather conditions pulled his rank down by several notches, his skill and persistence helped him make a mark. The first round of the 2017 F3 calendar was held at the 5.9km Silverstone Formula 1 circuit in the UK. Jehan swiftly made his way from 11th place to finish 3rd, just 0.28 seconds off the local British racer Lando Norris who bagged pole. Daruvala qualified fifth out of nineteen racers in the first qualifying session. He slipped only a little in the second round, placing in 6th even though he was only 0.173 seconds off pole. It was in Race 1 when the weather conditions got better for the Indian racer. Testing sessions that took place prior to the races were under better weather conditions, thus the slick race track was very difficult to manoeuvre. This led to Daruvala being placed 10th, even though he was able to make up for some of the lost time later. Race 1 was won by Lando Norris.
Race 2 met a similar, but slightly worse beginning. Thanks to rain the previous night, the track remained wet and most racers were struggling to maintain the pace. The 18-year old slipped down to 14th place at one point, though he quickly started climbing ranks and even went on to have an interesting battle with Norris, winner of Race 1. Daruvala actually managed to overcome him and came in 8th. He took over more cars than anyone else in Race 2, which was won by Swedish racer Joel Eriksson. In the Rookie classification in Race 2, Jehan was second behind Mick Schumacher, while Lando was 3rd. Things got really interesting in Race 3 as it was set to play out on the second fastest lap in Qualifying 2. Daruvala had a very promising start at the 5th position. He was successful in taking over Lando for the 4th position, after which Lando fell back even more when Jake Dennis overtook him. But it was in this crucial moment that a little mistake by Daruvala helped Lando to take over both, thus demoting him to 5th again. To make matters worse, Dennis then proceeded to jump up to 5th again and so, Daruvala finally landed at the 6th position, where he stayed. Race 3 was won by Callum Illot. In the rookie classification in Race 3, Jehan once again bagged the trophy for coming 2nd behind Lando Norris while Joey Mawson was third.
"There were many positives from my first weekend in Formula 3. Qualifying 5th, 6th and 5th for the 3 races of the weekend and finishing in the points in all 3 races was very satisfying. The experience of battling through the field from 14th to 8th in Race 2 and the top 6 finish in Race 3 was a good result. I must thank everyone at Carlin for the hard work they have put in over the winter to give me a competitive car," Jehan was quoted saying.
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