Young Indian racer Jehan Daruvala, driving for Prema Racing, won the inaugural round of the FIA Formula 3 Championship, one of the support events to Formula One, here Sunday.
The all new FIA F3 Championship was created by merging the erstwhile GP3 Championship and FIA F3 European Championship, resulting in an ultra-competitive 30 car grid.
The only Indian on the grid, 20-year-old Jehan started from second position and grabbed the lead into the run down to the first corner. With an accident involving four cars at the back of the grid, the safety car was deployed on lap one.
At the restart Kari was able to benefit from Jehan's slipstream during the restart, and Jehan had to defend hard to keep the lead.
Over the next two laps Jehan quickly opened up a gap of over 1.5 seconds so as to prevent Kari from deploying DRS (Drag Reduction System).
The safety car was deployed a second time negating the advantage of a 2 second gap which Jehan had built up. During the restart, Jehan was much better prepared and was able to open up a gap of over 1.5 seconds in less than 2 laps.
He thereafter controlled the race well and also bagged the fastest lap of the race. Later, Jehan cruised to take the chequered flag 2.121 seconds ahead of Estonian racer Juri Vips, who by then had managed to move upto second.
"During the race I was, let's say, in control, except for the first restart when I didn't surprise the guy behind, enough, so I had to defend. After that, I was just managing the pace. I have to thank everyone at Prema Racing for giving me a fantastic car. I did not overdrive it, although if I needed more I could have pushed in the final couple of laps," said Jehan.
Jehan is the only Indian to win a Grand Prix, when he won the New Zealand Grand Prix and later went on to become the only Indian to win a race in the erstwhile FIA F3 European Championship, which used slower cars.
Earlier this year Jehan was selected by Prema Racing, one of the world's most successful Junior Racing teams' to drive for them in this year's new, FIA F3 Championship.
Jehan's next race will be along with the French Grand Prix from 21 to 23 June.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)