India’s race driver Jehan Daruvala has made a successful Formula One test debut this week with world championship-winning team McLaren, with the 23-year-old driving the Woking-based team’s 2021 race-winning challenger — the MCL35M — at the British Grand Prix venue Silverstone.
The test was Jehan’s first in a Formula One machine and he chalked up over 130 laps combined over the two days — Tuesday and Wednesday — over twice the distance F1 drivers will cover during next weekend’s British Grand Prix.
He is now eligible for a Formula One super license.
“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. 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 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,” added Jehan.
Jehan currently races with Italian team Prema in the Formula 2 championship, the feeder series that sits one step below Formula One, and is third in the overall standings. The Red Bull-backed racer, 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 and only the third racer from the country to race in Formula One.