Daruvala: "Sixth in the championship where I deserved to be"
Jehan Daruvala is satisfied with the way his maiden campaign in European F3 panned out, saying sixth in the championship is where he “deserved” to finish.
Daruvala was straight up to pace in the world’s premier F3-level championship, scoring a maiden podium in only his fourth race at Monza.
Another rostrum followed in Hungary, before he secured his maiden win at Norisring - first for an Indian driver in an F3 event since Narain Karthikeyan.
After 10 rounds and 30 races, the Force India junior was eventually classified sixth in the final standings, 16 points points behind fifth-placed Jake Hughes.
Given European F3 is considered as one of the most competitive series in the junior single-seater ladder, Daruvala feels he can be pleased with his performance against some of the best budding drivers from around the world.
“I feel that the results were a good indication of how the drivers had fared in the championship,” Daruvala told Motorsport.com
“Unlike other championships, the F3 championship has 30 races without any race being a reverse grid. So even if you have had some bad luck, the championship allows you to get back the position you deserve.
“Jake [Hughes] deserved the fifth place as he had some misfortune in the first half of the season but got some very good results in the second half. So sixth in the championship is where I felt I deserved to be.”
While Daruvala started the season on a strong note and carried that form to the middle part of the year, his performance tailed off towards the latter half of the season.
After scoring 138 points in the first six rounds, he could only add 53 points to his tally in the remaining four.
Daruvala admitted that he could have had better results in the second part of his campaign, singling out qualifying as his main weakness.
“If I were to look at the results of the second half of the season before the start of the year, I would have been quite happy with that as the grid is very competitive and it is my rookie year,” he said.
“However after the results in the first half, I would have definitely liked the second half to have been better.
“I felt that I should have done a better job in qualifying in the second half of the year. We had the pace to do that but I need to improve my consistency of stitching together a perfect lap.”
F3 and GP3 as 2018 options
Daruvala had hinted at staying in F3 for another season earlier this year, but a move to the F1-supporting GP3 series remains on the cards.
A decision is expected after the Mumbaikar samples the Dallara GP3/16 in the three-day test at Yas Marina Circuit, where he will split duties between Adren and MP Motorsport teams.
“The option being considered is between F3 and GP3. I will be testing GP3 in Abu Dhabi towards the end of this month and will take a final call after that,” he said
“One of my reasons for looking at doing F3 again would be to prove to myself that rather than only doing well in my rookie year, I should fight for many more wins and the championship in my second year,” he added, when asked if he could learn something from a relatively underwhelming second season in Formula Renault Eurocup and NEC in 2016.
Motopark names F3 2018's first driver signing
Red Bull's Ticktum announces Motopark F3 move