Jehan finishes third in sprint to seal hat-trick of podiums

Updated: Jun 24, 2019, 09:33 IST | PTI

This was Jehan's third consecutive podium in four races and it came in front of the Formula 1 teams since the F3 now runs as a support event to the main F1 Grand Prix

Jehan finishes third in sprint to seal hat-trick of podiums
Jehan Daruvala

Le Castellet (France): Jehan Daruvala continued to scorch the track as the young Indian racer completed a hat-trick of podiums by finishing third in the FIA Formula 3 Championship after starting eighth on the grid in the sprint race here Sunday. Jehan's victory on Saturday in the feature race meant he had to start from eighth on Sunday due to the regulations which dictate that the top eight finishers are reversed for the start of the sprint race. This was Jehan's third consecutive podium in four races and it came in front of the Formula 1 teams since the F3 now runs as a support event to the main F1 Grand Prix.

"It's been a good weekend for the team and for me as well. This race was fun actually. At the start, I was a bit surprised by how quick the lights went out and then I was playing it a bit too safe for the first couple of laps," said Jehan after the race. "We knew we had the pace and the race was long, but maybe I took a bit too much time. When I got up to P6 the leading group of five cars was quite a long way ahead, and maybe my mistake at that stage was to push too hard to catch them instead of just chipping away.

"I caught them and passed all of them except Robert. My main goal was to win the race and I was pushing a lot, but Robert was doing the same and I started to struggle with the tires," said Jehan. He started well but fell to tenth on lap one, once the lights went out at the F1 circuit in Le Castellet. Jehan then battled hard with Logan Sargeant and Juri Vips before overtaking both racers. He was then much quicker than the racers ahead of him and began to pass them one by one, to steadily move up the order. Alex Peroni from Australia, meanwhile continued to lead the race, taking advantage of the battles behind him. Jehan was soon up to fifth, but faced quite a task, with a gap of over 2.4 seconds to the pack of cars ahead. He pushed hard and managed to successfully close the gap and move into fourth.

Jehan's Prema Racing teammate Robert Shwartzman, had in the meantime grabbed the race lead, with Brazilian Pedro Piquet in second. Jehan had closed the gap, overtaking Red Bull Racing Junior, Yuki Tsunoda from Japan, to move up into third and soon made an excellent move to overtake Piquet for second.

Not content with second Jehan tried to close the gap to Shwartzman, but in the process of pushing extremely hard right through the entire race and the numerous battles he had along the way, Jehan's tyres were beginning to degrade. He lost a bit of pace and was re passed by Piquet, who was also able to use the DRS to his advantage. Jehan comfortably held onto third, crossing the finish line behind Shwartzman and Piquet and 5.4 seconds ahead of Verschoor, of MP Motorsport. Jehan's continues to lie second in the championship with 58 points and will next race at the RedBull Ring Circuit in Spielberg along with the Austrian Grand Prix the coming weekend.

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