Formula 2: India’s Jehan Daruvala eyes double-podium repeat in Melbourne

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Indian racer Jehan Daruvala will be hoping to conjure up some Melbourne magic and score a repeat of his Jeddah double podium as the Formula 2 championship heads to Australia for some weekend action.

The 24-year-old, who races for Dutch team MP Motorsport, was the only driver to finish both races of the Jeddah round in the top three and will be hoping to repeat the Jeddah story as the F2 Championships heads to the historic Albert Park circuit for the newest fixture on the calendar.

The podium reignited Daruvala’s championship hopes, propelling him to fifth in the overall standings and the young Indian will be looking to build further momentum behind his title tilt at the lakeside street track this weekend.

“I am really looking forward to racing at the Albert Park circuit. It’s a historic and challenging track and it’s great to see it join the F2 calendar. None of us have ever raced around here before so the learning curve will be incredibly steep. Nevertheless, it’s going to be the same for everyone,” said Daruvala.

“For our part, we’ve just focused on ourselves and prepared the best we can. Variable weather, with rain expected on Friday and Saturday, will add an extra element of unpredictability and excitement to the mix. But we finally showed our hand in terms of pace in Jeddah and I’m confident we can be quick here again this weekend,” Daruvala said.

The 5.2-km long Albert Park circuit in the heart of Melbourne predominantly comprises medium-speed corners, fast straights and a handful of tight, twisting turns.

The track layout, which has hosted Formula One since 1996, was tweaked last year to aid overtaking. Formula 2, as a support series to Formula One, will race around that same layout, which will also feature four DRS zones to further improve overtaking.

Over its years of hosting F1, the track has acquired a reputation for serving up thrillers and upsets. A step into the unknown for Formula 2, teams and drivers will also have to be wary of Melbourne’s fickle autumn weather, which can turn the form book on its head.

Formula 2 track action will kick off on Friday with practice and qualifying. The shorter Sprint race will take place on Saturday with the main Feature race to be held on Sunday ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix.

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