India’s young driver Jehan Daruvala during his Formula One test drive with McLaren in UK recently
Young Jehan Daruvala made a successful Formula 1 test debut this week with eight-time constructors* winner McLaren and is now eligible for a Super Lience.
The 23-year-old, who is aiming to become the third racer from India to race in Formula 1, drove the Woking-based team*s 2021 race-winning challenger - the MCL35M - on Tuesday and Wednesday at Silverstone.
The test was Jehan*s first taste of F1 machinery and he chalked up over 130 laps combined over the two days, over twice the distance F1 drivers will cover during next weekend*s British Grand Prix. The track time helped him earn enough points to apply for a Super Licence, which is needed to compete in Formula 1. Jehan, who ran trouble-free on both the days, currently races with Italian team Prema in the Formula 2 championship, the feeder series that sits one step below Formula 1, and is third in the overall standings.
"I really enjoyed my first time driving a Formula One car. I felt immediately at home and while it was physically more demanding than anything I have driven in the past, I didn*t have any issues with my fitness," Jehan was quoted as saying in a media release on Friday.
According to Jehan, the experience gave him good understanding of how teams operate on an F1 weekend.
"As a result, we were able to work through the run plan well and complete everything we had mapped out. We did a mixture of high-fuel long runs and as well as shorter, low-fuel runs on different tyre compounds. That gave me a good understanding of how teams operate on an F1 weekend.
"Overall, I*m very pleased with how the two days went, how I coped and the mileage we were able to complete. I felt I was able to push closer to the limit with every lap and I can*t wait to drive one of these cars again," he added.
Jehan, who remains a part of the Red Bull Junior Team is a three-time F2 winner and has scored 12 podiums in the category, including five top-three finishes from six rounds this season alone.
He is aiming to become the first Indian to win the Formula 2 title this season. So far, India has had only two drivers in F1 - Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok.
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