Daruvala set to race in F3 Asia ahead of F2 season

Jehan Daruvala is set to gain additional mileage in the F3 Asia later this month ahead of his planned return to Formula 2 for a second season.

Jehan Daruvala, Carlin, 1st position, on the podium

Daruvala will pair up with last year's British F3 runner-up Kush Maini to form an all Indian line-up at Mumbai Falcons, which would be run by single-seater powerhouse Prema.

The deal would reunite the 22-year-old with the outfit with which he finished third in the Formula 3 championship in 2019 scoring two wins and five other podium finishes.

Daruvala’s appearance in F3 Asia will precede a full campaign in F2, where he is expected to remain with Carlin for a second year.

It won’t be the first time the Indian driver has kicked off the year with a winter series in the Asia-Pacific before returning to Europe for his primary campaign. In 2016, Daruvala raced in the New Zealand-based Toyota Racing series - where he finished second to now McLaren Formula 1 driver Lando Norris - before returning to Europe to compete in the Renault Eurocup.

An official announcement regarding Daruvala’s plans for 2021, including F3 Asia and F2, is yet to be made. He is also believed to be in conversations with Red Bull to retain the energy drink giant’s backing for a second consecutive year.

Daruvala finished only 12th in his rookie season in F2 in 2020, but capped off the year with a memorable sprint race win in Bahrain after beating DAMS driver Dan Ticktum, who is expected to be his teammate in 2021 after testing for Carlin last month.

After the season was concluded, it was revealed that Daruvala was hamstrung by a faulty engine that was not replaced until the eighth round at Monza.

The 2021 F3 Asia season features five consecutive rounds in the UAE, beginning January 29-30, with Dubai Autodrome and Yas Marina Circuit alternating as the host venues. Both the Abu Dhabi rounds will run on the support bill for the Asian Le Mans Series, where Maini’s elder brother Arjun will race in as part of another all-Indian team comprising Narain Karthikeyan.

A total of nine teams have signed up for the FIA-sanctioned regional F3 series, with 23 drivers expected to be on the grid for the championship’s fourth season.

The overall champion will be awarded 18 superlicense points, provided the series meets the requirements set by the FIA regarding the grid size and total circuits.


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