Monza (Italy): 18-year-old Indian racing driver Jehan Daruvala on Friday created history by becoming the first Indian racer to occupy pole position in the FIA Formula 3 European Championships in the qualifying session for Round 2 in Monza, Italy.
Jehan Daruvala secured the top spot on the starting grid for Race 1 of the second round of the Monza championship. However, he was unable to translate that to a race victory, and finished the hard-fought race on Saturday in second place, behind his Carlin Racing teammate Lando Norris of the UK.
The qualifying sessions for Race 2 and 3 of the weekend will be held late on Saturday, with the races scheduled for Sunday.
Daruvala took pole during the qualifying session for Race 1 at the famed Monza Grand Prix circuit in thrilling fashion. The Carlin Racing driver was on his hot lap when curtains fell on the qualifying session with British racer Callum Illot (Prema Powerteam) in the lead.
Daruvala’s feat came over 16 years after Narain Karthikeyan’s pole during the 2000 Macau GP in the British F3 Championship, which heralded the pioneering Indian’s arrival onto the international stage.
Earlier in the weekend, Jehan showed his pace on a track that he certainly seemed to love. He was sixth and third in the two practice sessions of the weekend.
“I like this track a lot. This is where I had my first pole in Formula Renault. The car felt good and we made a few changes after practice which worked well. Importantly I got a good slipstream and also ensured that I took no risks, once I saw I had a good time on my last lap,” said Jehan, a Sahara Force India Academy racer.
Formula 3 is considered one of the most crucial steps en route to Formula 1. Numerous racers have moved from F3 to F1 directly with Max Verstappen being the most recent notable example.
F1 world champions like Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher and many more proved their capabilities in F3 before moving on to F1.