Indian F1 hopeful Jehan Daruvala set the second-fastest overall time at the Formula 2 pre-season test session in Bahrain.
Driving for reigning champions Prema this year, the 23-year-old’s best time over the three days was one minute, 42.074 seconds, which put him at the top of the timesheets on the opening day of running.
It also stood as the second quickest time of the whole test session, behind only Liam Lawson’s Day 2 pace-setting time of one minute, 41.623 seconds.
The third and final day of the test had to be abandoned after limited running due to a sandstorm.
Times in testing are notoriously difficult to read as teams run their own individual programmes. But they do offer an indication of form.
Jehan, who is also part of the Red Bull Junior Team, consistently ran among the front-runners throughout the test, further boosting his prospects of becoming the first Indian to win the Formula 2 championship. He also ran trouble-free during the three days, chalking up a total of 153 laps around the Sakhir International Circuit.
The Bahrain test was held from March 2-4.
Jehan said, “We experienced three very productive days of testing. Our pace on both long runs and qualifying simulations has been encouraging while reliability has also been strong allowing us to chalk up plenty of mileage.”
“There are a lot of positives to take from the test and most importantly I feel comfortable in the car and ready for the battle on our hands.”
Jehan this year is heading into his third season in Formula 2, the feeder- series that sits below F1 on the single-seater ladder. He raced for Carlin in the last two seasons but has made the move to Prema Racing this year.
The Italian racing powerhouse is the most successful outfit in Formula 2, having delivered three of the series’ five drivers’ champions, including Ferrari Formula 1 race winner Charles Leclerc and Mick Schumacher, son of seven- time world champion Michael.
Jehan, who finished third in the Formula 3 standings while racing for Prema in 2019, is looking to emulate this duo and follow Australian Oscar Piastri as the squad’s third straight Formula 2 champion. He is eyeing a step up to F1 in 2023, which would make him only the third Indian to compete in motorsport’s top tier.
The Formula 2 season gets underway in Bahrain with practice and qualifying on March 18, 2022.