Bahrain, Dec 6 (IANS) India’s Jehan Daruvala on Sunday recorded his first Formula 2 victory after winning the Sakhir Grand Prix sprint race as Mick Schumacher won the 2020 championship despite finishing 18th.
Daruvala, 22, had a good launch from second on the grid and was up alongside pole sitter Daniel Ticktum. Tictum squeezed Daruvala on the inside which allowed championship leader Schumacher to go around the outside of both of them.
Eventually, Ticktum emerged in the lead, followed by Schumacher and Daruvala in third. A few corners later, Daruvala made a good move to pass Schumacher and get into second.
The pair battled for a few laps for the position with Daruvala going back to third and passed Schumacher again a few laps later to regain the position.
He eventually managed to put distance on the German, who will race in Formula 1 for Haas next season, and caught the race leader.
Daruvala kept the pressure on Tictum who defended well until finally losing the position for the first time to the Indian with 10 laps to go.
He kept out Tictum and eventually put distance between the two cars to take the chequered flag in the lead. His Red Bull Junior teammate Yuki Tsunoda was second, over 3.5 seconds behind Jehan, while Ticktum was third.
“Motorsport is pretty big in India. We obviously have a lot of people, so I have a big fanbase back home. My goal at the end of the day is to do myself proud but also do my country proud and to prove to people back home that even though we don’t have the same facilities and stuff that guys have in Europe, as long as you can work hard you can fight right at the sharp end of the grid,” said an elated Daruvala.
Schumacher had to drop out of the points contention due to a pit stop forced by damage on the tyres caused by an early lock up. Luckily for him, he held on to his 14-point lead at the top of the championship table after main rival Callum Ilott also failed to score any points. Schumacher clinched the title with a total of 215 points, 14 ahead of Ilott.