MP Motorsport’s Jehan Daruvala took his first podium of the 2023 FIA Formula 2 season in the Sprint Race at the Jeddah Corniche Circuit, where he also scored a podium in the Feature Race in 2022.
Daruvala started this afternoon’s Sprint Race fifth and made his first pass on fellow Indian Kush Maini for fourth at the first safety car restart on Lap 5. He then overtook pole-sitter Jak Crawford for third two laps later, just before the second safety car was deployed.
After a few laps, he passed Ralph Boschung for second on Lap 13 around the outside of Turn 1. Similar attempts at Turn 1 on eventual race winner Ayumu Iwasa, though, were not successful, and on the second occasion, Daruvala lost a place to Victor Martins, who had pursued him for several laps.
Speaking to InsideF2 after a chaotic route to third, Daruvala cited car positioning as an area to improve.
“If I’m honest, I need to have a look at the race again because I was even trying to picture in my head [and] I don’t remember what’s happened. There were so many incidents. I don’t remember once having a clean Turn 1 and 2, so I think I was pretty much fighting every lap.
“I think the thing to learn tonight is if I could do anything better, putting myself in a better position to overtake cars.
“I was in an aggressive mind frame, which was good, but [I] couldn’t quite win the race. If I’m honest, like I said, I’m disappointed because I felt like we had a lot of pace and could have won,” he said.
“I’ll definitely look back at the race, learn as much as I can. And tomorrow’s going to be hotter. There’s going to be supersoft tyres, which is going to have some degradation.”
Daruvala expects that tomorrow’s Feature Race, which he starts fourth, will be taxing on both the tyres and on the drivers, with temperatures in the Saudi Arabian city projected to run above 30ºC.
“The medium tyre is very good around here, so there’s not much difference in lap time between the super soft and the medium, and the medium just lasts really long,” he told InsideF2.
“I expect it to be a difficult and physical race more than a race of tyre degradation, so I think we’ll be pushing from start to end and it should be pretty entertaining. [I’m] looking forward to tomorrow.”
Image: Formula Motorsport Limited