Jehan makes it 21 in F1
Red Bull Junior Jehan Daruvala has become the 21st graduate of the Castrol Toyota Racing Series to get behind the wheel of a contemporary Grand Prix car.
Daruvala (23) will be making his F1 testing debut this week at Silverstone with two days behind the wheel of the 2021 McLaren run by the team as part of a programme of young driver evaluation.
Despite his young age, Daruvala is one of the most experienced drivers in junior formulae and is currently competing in his third FIA F2 Championship season. . He was runner up in the 2016 and 5th in 2017 Castrol TRS Championships with five wins and 15 podiums over the two seasons in the New Zealand series.
He becomes the third Indian driver – after Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok – to test or race for a Formula One team. There are currently five TRS graduates racing in F1 - Lance Stroll, Nicholas Latifi, Guanyu Zhou, Yuki Tsunoda and Lando Norris with Liam Lawson and Robert Shwartzman both testing this year as well.
Daruvala is looking forward to the challenge, telling ESPN, "I have never driven a Formula One car before. This test is for me to learn the car and its characteristics and find its limits. My aim is to win the F2 Championship and hopefully I do enough and my name is out there.”
Castrol TRS Category Manager Nicolas Caillol was delighted for the racer, who he rates highly from his season of TRS in New Zealand.
“This is great news for Jehan and we are very proud of his as a graduate of our championship. He was exceptional when he raced here in 2016 and 2017 and it will be fascinating to see how he goes in the test, which is in a car that won a Grand Prix last season.
“It’s good news for us too. It reminds everyone as we build up to our first full championship since the pandemic that TRS has helped produce a significant number of the world’s best drivers. Our count is currently at 21 in total for F1 with more to come and countless others in major championships around the world.”
The 2023 championship will feature two rounds in the South Island and three in the North Island. The date and venue for the 67th New Zealand Grand Prix - which remains the centrepiece of the championship trail and one of only two non-F1 Grand Prix events recognised by the FIA - will be announced soon.