Jehan Daruvala is living his dream. Since his appointment as Force India’s junior driver, I’ve had the privilege to follow his career up, close and personal and I must say that he is ready to inherit the ‘Fastest Indian In The World’ title from Narain Karthikeyan. Last weekend, he became the first Indian ever to win a race in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship and this isn’t his only ‘first Indian ever’ related record in the world of Motorsport.
By far India’s brightest prospect of making it to F1. Today’s superb drive in the most competitive junior grid seals that. Awesome mate!
— Narain Karthikeyan (@narainracing) July 2, 2017
To add to his ‘first Indian ever’ record, Jehan was the first Indian racing car driver to appear on the Firstpost Pole Position video earlier this week. In this week’s video, we spoke to Jehan about his journey to the top step of the F3 podium – specifically given how Indians follow their non-cricketing sports persons. We take a walk down memory lane as we discuss his first-ever championship victory (Micro Max Category – Karting), his induction into the Force India Formula 1 Team Academy, him winning the British KF3 Championship followed by his maiden win in one of the world’s most competitive junior racing series – F3. Oh by the way, for those of you who remember, Jehan had a car-flipping crash that ended with him being inverted over the barriers at the Silverstone round in last year’s Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series.
History has shown that winning in F3 has rewarded drivers very well. The most recent graduates being Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll and Max Verstappen. Jehan’s win last Sunday took him a step closer to the coveted seat in the pink Force India car. The question is more ‘when will he’, rather than ‘will he’. I would suspect that a junior driver test (there’s one in Abu Dhabi after the end of the 2017 Formula 1 Season) is around the corner and that would be the start of an exciting journey for both – Force India and Jehan.
We asked Jehan to place his bet on either Sebastian Vettel or Lewis Hamilton for this year’s championship and then of course, being the Fernando Alonso fan that he is, we asked him where would his favourite driver land up in 2018.
Here’s also a Jehan Daruvala special episode from the Inside Line F1 Podcast archives: