India’s Jehan Daruvala signed by Red Bull Formula One team
India’s Jehan Daruvala signed by Red Bull Formula One team Image Credit: Twitter

Mumbai: In a huge boost to Indian motorsport, Formula One’s Red Bull Racing have signed Jehan Daruvala for their junior programme, paving the way for the country’s big racing hope to compete in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

Jehan, who has taken giant strides in the sport since his debut in 2009 as a 10-year-old kid, will race for Carlin, alongside fellow Red Bull Junior Yuki Tsunoda, in his maiden F2 season; it was announced on Friday. His first race is in the Bahrain Grand Prix on March 21.

The Red Bull Junior programme has been instrumental in producing some of the world’s best F1 racers over the years including four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel, Max Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Alex Albon, and many others. The selection into the Red Bull programme is a huge recognition for the young Indian who has consistently performed well at the top of every series he has participated in, culminating in a fantastic season last year where he finished third in the FIA F3 championship.

Jehan had started the season on a strong note with a victory in the first round. A second consecutive victory and more podiums saw him briefly lead the F3 championship around the half way mark. He entered the last round at Sochi in Russia, with an outside chance at the title and a minimum second almost assured. Unfortunately, his car did not start the formation lap of the last race. Forced to start from the pit lane, 29th and last, Jehan drove arguably one of the best races of the season. He charged through the field climbing up from 29th to ninth but lost the runners-up spot by a mere 1 point.

“After an excellent year for me in FIA F3 in 2019, I hope to carry my form into my first year in F2 with the support of the Red Bull Junior Team and Carlin. There are many experienced F2 drivers and a number of strong rookies making it an exciting grid this year — I’m looking forward to the challenge,” said Jehan.

Trevor Carlin, owner of Carlin Motorsport, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jehan back to the team for his third season with us. His performance last year in FIA F3 was extremely impressive and we really believe in him. There is no reason why he cannot make it all the way to the top. Without a doubt there will be a lot to learn — both for Jehan as a driver in a more powerful car and also for the team with the new 18-inch wheels but we have a great team ready to meet those challenges.”