New Delhi: Young Indian racer Jehan Daruvala took another significant stride in his blossoming career by signing with top team Carlin for the 2017 FIA Formula 3 European Championship.
The 18-year-old’s maiden entry into Formula 3 comes after two productive seasons in Formula Renault, where he had 11 podiums at various circuits across Europe.
After the conclusion of the Formula Renault season, the Indian went on to participate in numerous Formula 3 tests and was eventually signed to Carlin after consistently being one of the fastest drivers during their tests.
Formula 3, considered as one of the most important rungs on the ladder to Formula One, consistently attracts a highly competitive grid.
Numerous Formula 1 winners, such as Nico Rosberg, Max Verstappen, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Michael Schumacher, have all honed their skills in Formula 3 before their debut at the pinnacle of motorsport.
The championship will consist of 30 races over ten weekends and will visit some of the iconic Formula One circuits in addition to two street circuits at Pau and Norisring. The car Jehan will be racing will put out approximately 240 bhp while weighing just 565 kgs, driver included.
Each round will have three races preceded by two practice sessions of 40 minutes each and two qualifying sessions of 20 minutes each.
Carlin, as a team has one of motorsport’s most reputable legacies, with over 330 race wins across numerous racing series. Rosberg, Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are just some of the Formula One racers who have competed for Carlin prior to getting their big break.
The first Indian representative in Formula One, Narain Karthikeyan, also raced with Carlin. Last month, the team won and also came third in the FIA F3 World Cup at the prestigious street circuit of Macau, with Antonio Felix Da Costa.
Team boss Trevor Carlin said, “It’s fantastic to have Jehan on board with us for 2017. He has already tested with us in the Formula Three car and I have no doubt he will be competitive from the outset in his rookie season in the championship. Once again it’s going to be a really close season of racing but Jehan is a strong addition to the team”.
Jehan will also race in the 2017 Toyota Racing Series in New Zealand prior to commencing his Formula 3 season. The young Mumbaikar had multiple victories and was the overall runner-up in his maiden participation in the Toyota Racing Series earlier this year.
“My first two years in single seaters have been a fantastic learning experience. After finishing in the top five in the Formula Renault NEC in 2015 and 2016, and having finished 2nd in the Toyota Racing Series this year, I am confident of stepping up to the highly competitive Formula 3 .
“I really enjoy driving the Formula 3 car, as I feel that the high downforce seems to suit my driving style. I am happy with how testing has been so far and I am really looking forward to my first season,” he added.
The Indian teenager started his racing career in karting in 2009 before winning his first national title a year later, at just 11 years of age. He remains the first and only Indian to win the CIK FIA Asia Pacific KF3 Championship and the British KF3 Championship.
He also remains the only Indian to have ever stood on the podium of any World Championship in motorsport, finishing as the second runner up of the 2014 World Karting Championship, in his very first year in the senior category of karting.
In 2015 he moved to cars, winning the first place rookie trophy in his debut event of the Formula Renault NEC series.