Jehan Daruvala benefited from others’ mistakes to reach the podium in the Formula 2 feature race in Jeddah, but he was close to becoming a victim of the circuit’s walls.
The MP Motorsport driver finished third in both races last weekend and is now fifth in the standings, having recovered from a difficult feature race at the Bahrain season opener.
“Yesterday I would say I was disappointed that I didn’t win, but today I’m happy to be third,” Daruvala stated after the Jeddah feature race.
“I didn’t quite have the same pace I had yesterday, and I just stayed out of trouble, picked up the mistakes from the other guys. It feels good to be back in the front this weekend.
In spite of having “stayed out of trouble”, Daruvala admitted to have had a couple of close calls during the race.
“The car was still good, towards the end of the stint especially it was very good. But I had two warnings, I hit the wall twice, so then I said I’ll just settle for the podium. It was getting close. It was one of the things where you hit the wall and you look at the steering wheel, in my mind it’s bent, but it was still kind of straight.
“I didn’t have the race-winning pace of Frederik [Vesti], but maybe I could have come second if I did a better job myself. The car was good, no complaints, two podiums in two days and three podiums in a row in Jeddah. So obviously this track works quite well for me, and hopefully we can take this on into Melbourne.”
With Formula 1 “a distant dream away now”, the Indian also spoke about the mentality with which he is approaching his fourth full F2 season while also acting as Mahindra’s reserve driver in Formula E.
“The championship is really, really long. So it is there in the back of my mind, but I just want to win races, be fighting at the front. Clearly yesterday I wasn’t thinking too much about the championship, I just wanted to win the race.
“I think that’s going to be my mindset for most of the year. The more you win, the more points you score.
“I guess sometimes you have to be careful with the risk and reward, but from what I see from all the drivers, we’re all just going for it. That’s how it should be, and the championship’s really, really long.”
He then added: “I need to win a lot, keep doing well, and hopefully good results here and there and I can at least secure my future in FE next year. That’s still the target to get a race seat there. But yeah, I only came back this year to win. I joined the team that won the championship, so no regrets. I’m here to win, and it’s that simple.”