New Delhi: Jehan Daruwala became the first Indian to win an F2 race last week – beating the field in a sprint race at Bahrain’s Sakheer Circuit.
The 22-year-old, who has just finished his debut F2 season, is now looking forward to the next season with new hopes. In an email interview, Daruwala, a Red Bull Racing junior driver, told TOI in an email interview about the various facts and futures of his racing life. Excerpt:
How did you feel on stage after winning the sprint race at Sakheer? What is the reaction of your teammates and other drivers?
It was great to finally win the race in F2. What makes it even more special is that it is a hard fought victory. And it was the first race of the season that my father attended. The team was always great and everyone was really thrilled. Listening to the National Anthem was really special when I was on the top step.
Your best results came in the last few races. Do you think you took the time to understand F2 racing in your debut?
I struggled to get started on The Tue and had engine trouble. It was only after Monza that I managed to change my engine. So, this is a two-part season.
You finished 12th in the overall championship. Are you happy with your performance?
I can definitely say I am not happy with the 12th … I didn’t want to be where I was. Even when I was well qualified, I struggled with my start and it put me on the back foot through the race. As the next season progresses, I will work hard on it and try to improve all the lessons I have learned. Next .I want to be at the sharp end of my game for the season.
What’s the F2 family like? Do drivers talk and communicate with each other?
Off track we are all very friendly. We have been together since karting. We know each other well and hang out regularly. After the last race weekend a group of us went karting.
What are your next projects?
The goal is of course Formula 1! That was the pinnacle of motorsport and my dream.
Tell us something about your racing career
I started racing in India with Raymond Banerjee as part of his team at the National Championships. Rayo later encouraged me to try at the Asian level, where I did well and won the CIK FIA Asia-Pacific Championship. I was selected as one of the finalists in the “One in a Billion” hunt conducted by Force India at the time. He introduced me to European Karting and I participated in the British Superson National Championship for the first year and won it the following year. Post that I have had many successful races in Europe and finished 3rd at the World Karting Championships. I then moved on to formula cars.
What do you have to say about the Indian motor sports scene?
India has a huge motorsport fan base and is definitely gaining more and more popularity. The support I have been receiving from thousands of fans across India has been very encouraging and I would like to thank them for their support. A new track is also being built. It would be great if there were more tracks across the country to introduce young children to racing at the grassroots level. We definitely need more facilities.

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