India’s Jehan Daruvala to have first taste of F1 as he tests a McLaren

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Young Red Bull driver Jean Daruvala, third in the Formula 2 standings, will be driving a McLaren at Silverstone this week.

Young Red Bull driver Jean Daruvala, third in the Formula 2 standings, will be driving a McLaren at Silverstone this week.

Jehan Daruwala will drive a Formula One car for the first time when he tests last year’s McLaren at Silverstone this week to become the third Indian to race at the pinnacle of motorsport.

The young Red Bull driver, third in the Formula 2 standings and already eligible for a Formula 1 super license, will be driving on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“It has nothing to do with the fact that next year I will be racing in Formula 1,” he told reporters on Monday.

“But I have the opportunity to be in an F1 car and do well, and if I get the opportunity, I want to be ready.”

Difficult climb

Daruwala is number one among Red Bull’s F2 juniors, but this is his third season and career progression looks difficult for the 23-year-old.

The Red Bull F1 core team has signed world champion Max Verstappen and Mexican Sergio Pérez to multi-year deals, while sister team AlphaTauri has confirmed Frenchman Pierre Gasly for 2023.

Yuki Tsunoda of Japan, a protege of Honda, is also likely to stay.

Last year’s Formula 2 champion Australian Oscar Piastri has yet to earn a race seat, but he is Alpine’s reserve driver for a Renault-owned team and is confident he will be racing in Formula 1 next season.

Indians in F1

Indians Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok raced in Formula One at a time when it was easier for those who offered sponsors to get a seat.

Daruwala, a One in a Billion find in a competition run by mogul Vijay Mallya and the now-defunct Force India team, may be the best his country has produced, but he’s still less likely to make it.

He said Reuters Earlier this year, 2022 was a watershed year and he won’t give up on his dream.

“I don’t understand why if I win the championship and become Red Bull’s most successful junior, I can’t get a place in the future,” he said.

“Formula 1 is my dream, and even if I have a 5% chance of getting into F1, I will wait for this opportunity.”

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