Daruvala's persistence forced the race leader to start making mistakes
Jehan Daruvala created history when he became the first Indian to win a Formula 2 race during the Sakhir Grand Prix on December 6, 2020.
A thrilling battle against F2 champion Mick Schumacher and later Daniel Ticktum saw the 22-year-old Indian emerge on top.
Daruvala, driving for Rayo Racing, had a good launch from second on the grid and was up alongside pole-sitter Daniel Ticktum.
Ticktum squeezed Daruvala on the inside, which allowed Schumacher to go around the outside of both of them.
Eventually, Ticktum emerged in the lead, followed by Schumacher and Daruvala in third.
A few corners later, Daruvala made a good move to pass Schumacher and get into second.
A few laps later, Schumacher passed Daruvala, to relegate him to third.
A thrilling battle ensued and eventually the Indian got past Schumacher once again, to reclaim his second spot.
Daruvala then reeled off a series of quick laps to catch the race leader.
However, he was unable to overtake him.
Daruvala’s persistence forced the race leader to start making mistakes, but he found it tough to get past Ticktum.
Eventually, with less than 10 laps to go, Daruvala made another fantastic move to get past Ticktum and grab the lead.
Thereafter, he drove well to slowly start opening up a gap and finally took the chequered flag to win his maiden FIA Formula 2 race.
His Japanese teammate Yuki Tsunoda who had won the feature race on December 5, 2020, was second, over 3.5 seconds behind Daruvala, while Ticktum was third.
Daruvala said in a statement:
“Motorsport is pretty big in India.
“We obviously have a lot of people, so I have a big fan base back home, and my goal at the end of the day is to do myself and my country proud.
“I have to prove to people from back home that even though we don’t have the same facilities and stuff that guys have in Europe, as long as you can work hard you can fight right at the sharp end of the grid.”
Indians have been quick to take to Twitter to congratulate the first Indian to ever win an F2 race.
Indian motorsport fans have declared this as one of the proudest moments of the industry saying:
— *give Sergio a seat for 2021 c'mon* SK ?? (@theSkull_Knight) December 6, 2020
Another user proclaimed:
— Nikhilesh Shah (@shah_nikhilesh) December 6, 2020
Other users have commented on how well-deserved Daruvala’s win is:
Jehan Daruvala, contributes to India’s Formula Two wins, making India proud with his achievement! Daruvala has earned a well deserved first position at the SAKHIR GP. Heartiest Congratulations on this marvellous victory! #jehandaruvala #carlinracing #F2 #redbulljuniorteam pic.twitter.com/SIXa8d6Deg
— KJSCE Skream (@kjsceskream) December 6, 2020
Perhaps with Daruvala opening the gate for Indian F2 winners, there will be more following in his footsteps.