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Jehan Daruvala: A Frustrating Four Years in Formula Two

Written by Ellie Nicholls , Edited by Sharifah Zaqreeztrina

Image Credits: Formula Two; Round 11 - Sakhir, Bahrain

Jehan Daruvala, winner of Force India’s 2011 ‘One in a Billion’ competition and Red Bull Junior driver, made his Formula Two debut with Rodin Carlin in 2020, alongside fellow Red Bull Junior Yuki Tsunoda. With a fairly impressive junior career behind him and a third-place finish in the previous year’s Formula Three standings, it was clear what Daruvala was aiming for: a championship title, and a Formula One seat.

In the end, however, his debut season could be boiled down to just one word: frustration.

Despite the strong qualifying performances in most races and even going on to win the final race of the season, Daruvala’s poor starts, inconsistent pace and often bad luck meant that he finished the season with just 72 points which placed him 12th in the standings and 128 points behind his teammate.

While Tsunoda finished third and graduated to Formula One, Daruvala was left behind, facing his second season in Formula Two.

Image Credits: Formula Two; Round 11: Sakhir, Bahrain

No longer a rookie and still determined to earn himself a Formula One seat, the pressure was now on Daruvala to win a championship title if he wishes to impress Red Bull team principal Christian Horner.

In 2021, the Indian driver stayed with Carlin and ended up in seventh place in the rankings, winning twice but still ultimately not finding his feet, feeling that, in his second season, he had improved his race pace but was not achieving the results that he needed in qualifying.

The following year he joined Prema Powerteam, the reigning champions and the team with whom Mick Schumacher and Oscar Piastri won championships in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

On paper, equalling his seventh-place finish from the previous year may not seem particularly impressive. However, after experiencing mid-season struggles due to a lack of race pace that led him to drop from third to ninth place in the championship, his recovery is certainly outstanding.

Image Credits: Formula 2

Daruvala explained that, in his third year of the series, he had enough experience with the car and the tires to push at the right times and in the right ways, but he felt that he was just not in control of the issues with the car, and the drop-offs in performance he experienced were not down to him as a driver, but the team.

Once again Daruvala felt that circumstances had not favoured him: despite what he describes as his strongest season as a driver, he was still not able to fight for the championship, thus still no closer to a seat in Formula One.

This year, he parted ways with both Red Bull and Prema, joining MP Motorsport where he is yet to seal a victory in a fairly inconsistent season. Currently in 13th place in the drivers’ standings, Daruvala has once again experienced more than his fair share of bad luck, most notably when chasing his first win of the season after starting on reverse pole position. Daruvala was forced to retire on the second lap at Spa after his headrest came loose from his car.

Daruvala’s four years in Formula Two have been full of frustration, disappointment and a great deal of tough luck. Regardless, he is still determined that his career in motorsport will not end with Formula Two. Perhaps, competing in IndyCar, Formula E or even endurance racing, Daruvala may finally get the luck he has been unable to find so far in Formula Two.


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