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Jehan Daruvala to make Formula One debut with McLaren

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Jehan Daruvala to make Formula One debut with McLaren

Daruvala to test the 2021 McLaren at Silverstone.

Indian Formula 2 driver and Red Bull junior Jehan Daruvala will make his long-awaited Formula One debut later this week at Silverstone. The 23-year-old, who is in his third Formula 2 season, will be testing the McLaren MCL35 at Silverstone on June 21 and June 22. 

Daruvala will be testing the MCL35 as part of McLaren’s Testing Previous Car (TPC) programme and the test drive will help him earn enough points to apply for a Super Licence. All drivers need a Super Licence to compete in Formula One. Even though he is a Red Bull junior, the Austrian team has given Daruvala the green-light to go ahead with testing with the Woking-based team. 

Speaking about his upcoming experience, Daruvala stated:

I’m incredibly grateful to be getting this opportunity. Testing in Formula One is extremely limited and opportunities like these are not easy to come by, especially with a championship winning team like McLaren. It will be my first experience in a Formula One car, which I’m sure will be special.

This is nothing related to me getting a drive next year in Formula One. There are not many seats opening up in F1 but I have got this opportunity to be in an F1 car and do well and if I do get the opportunity I want to be ready.  I have never driven a Formula One car before. This test is for me to learn the car and its characteristics and find its limits. My aim is to win the F2 Championship and hopefully I do enough and my name is out there (to be noticed). 

Apart from my neck, I have not done too much extra. I have been busy with my racing (F2). I am generally very fit and don’t struggle that much. I will come to know at the end of the week but I have prepared my body as much as I can for the test.

Due to the 2022 regulation changes, Formula One rules have been amended so that all teams can use recent car designs for private testing. 

Daruvala, who started his Formula 2 career in 2020 with Carlin, spent two seasons with the team and finished seventh and third respectively before moving to Prema Racing in 2022. He currently has three Formula One wins and is the highest Red Bull driver in the Formula 2 standings in the current season. By testing in Formula One, Daruvala will become the third Indian to participate in Formula One after Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok.

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