Indias Jehan Daruvala raced to his first feature race win in the FIA Formula 2 Championship here on Sunday to make it a double podium weekend for himself. After three tough rounds, Jehan finally got the car to challenge for podiums and he did not disappoint. The Prema driver had finished third in the sprint race on Saturday.
Jehan, who was top-3 in the standings at one stage, had slipped well out of top five. With 31 points from this weekend, he has jumped to fifth in the standings with 126 points. The final round will be held in Abu Dhabi in November and he still has a shot at finishing third in the championship. The Indian racer is into his third and probably last season in Formula 2. He recently tested a Formula 1 car with McLaren but a race seat for next season looks tough at this point.
On Sunday, the 23-year-old started sixth on the grid but used a mix of strategy, race craft and tyre management to capitalise on a safety car and red flag-interrupted race and clinch a comfortable win around the hallowed Temple of Speed.
The win was Jehans first this season. It was also his sixth top-three finish at Monza and second win at the track after the Indian won there last year.
What a weekend, said Jehan. Its been a long time coming. Weve had the win taken away from us for one reason or another on more than one occasion this year. But weve kept our heads down, kept believing, kept pushing and weve finally done it.
And what a venue to do it at too! Monza is up there with one of my all-time favourite tracks and standing on the top step of this incredible podium, out over the main straight with the Indian national anthem playing out, feels so, so special.
Jehan made a good getaway, but starting on the dirty side of the grid got bogged down after the initial start.
Nevertheless, he was at sixth as the field went through the first chicane but lost a place to Juri Vips as he lifted in anticipation of a safety car after an opening-lap shunt involving Ralph Boschung and Theo Pourchaire.
The safety car wasnt deployed until later, however, and Jehan was forced to defend from Jack Doohan on the run to the second Roggia chicane.
The pair went wheel-to-wheel in the braking zone with Logan Sargeant making it three-wide into the chicane. Doohan, with Jehan on the inside and Sargeant on the outside, had nowhere to go and ended up colliding with Jehan.
The Red Bull-backed racer, however, suffered only minor damage and carried on as the safety car was finally deployed.
Racing resumed at the end of Lap 5 with Jehan running seventh. But a crash for Calan Williams at the Ascari chicane brought the safety car back out on Lap 8.
Jehan seized the opportunity to pit, with the perfectly timed stop, eventually moving him up to third once his other rivals had pitted.
That left him perfectly placed to battle for the win as the red flag was deployed to allow track workers to clear away Williams stranded Trident and carry out repairs to the barriers.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Federal staff and is auto-published from a syndicated feed.)