Maiden victory for an Indian driver in FIA Formula 3 European Championship

Jehan Daruvala (Carlin) concluded his first visit to the Norisring with his maiden victory in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship. The 18-year-old Indian, who is backed by the Force India Formula 1 team, won at the 2.3 kilometres long street circuit in Nuremberg from Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam) and Lando Norris (Carlin). Thus, Daruvala became the second rookie driver after his team-mate Lando Norris to win a race of the FIA Formula 3 European Championship this season. For Günther, second place was enough to seal the unofficial half-time title in the FIA Formula 3 European Championship.

At the start, Jehan Daruvala already overtook Maximilian Günther who was on pole position. In the following laps, the German managed to keep the gap to the Indian small, but it wasn’t enough to mount a challenge. Thus, after 39 laps, Daruvala was crowned as the winner of a Formula 3 race for the first time in his career.

Lando Norris was next across the line behind Daruvala and Maximilian Günther. After the opening lap, he was down in seventh place, but managed to overtake Guanyu Zhou (Prema Powerteam), Ferdinand Habsburg (Carlin), Jake Hughes (Hitech Grand Prix) and Ralf Aron (Hitech Grand Prix) over the course of the race and still made it onto the podium. For the McLaren junior driver, it was the tenth podium finish of his FIA Formula 3 European Championship rookie season. Ralf Aron, Jake Hughes, David Beckmann (Van Amersfoort Racing), Joel Eriksson (Motopark), Ferdinand Habsburg, Callum Ilott (Prema Powerteam) and Nikita Mazepin (Hitech Grand Prix) rounded out the top ten.

Two full course yellow (FCY) phases, in which a reduced speed has to be kept and overtaking is forbidden, neutralised the on-track action for a while. On lap five, Mick Schumacher’s (Prema Powerteam) car came to a halt after contact with Pedro Piquet (Van Amersfoort Racing), on lap 14, Tadasuke Makino (Hitech Grand Prix) and Harrison Newey (Van Amersfoort Racing) collided. As the Japanese was unable to make it back to the pits, the second FCY phase was called.

Jehan Daruvala (Carlin): “This time, my reaction at the start was very good. In the race, I wasn’t able to pull clear from Maximilian and I was under pressure throughout, I couldn’t afford a mistake. Then, I mainly focussed on getting the acceleration out of the corners right, which I managed to do. I reckon that the start was the key to this victory, so I mainly concentrated on that.”

Maximilian Günther (Prema Powerteam): “My start wasn’t ideal and not as good as Jehan’s either. Then, I tried to put him under pressure and force him to make a mistake, but he didn’t make one and drove very well altogether. I am also happy with my second place, about the points I get for that and about the ‘half-time championship’. I was able to score points in all 15 races held so far this season, which is very important.”

Lando Norris (Carlin): “It was a tough race for me. I applied a lot of pressure and I had some good overtaking moves. Towards the end of the race, I was able to benefit from a mistake by Ralf Aron and thus secure the final podium slot. Generally, I have to say that the Hitech cars were very fast, particularly in qualifying, but I was faster in the race. Nevertheless, I had to take some risk to overtake them. I reckon that finishing third from sixth place on the grid isn’t too bad.”