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Pitlane tales: Daruvala finishes creditable fourth in Formula 2

Last updated on: August 02, 2020 20:37 IST
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India's Jehan Daruvala, a Red Bull Junior driver is tipped to become the third F1 driver after Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok

IMAGE: India's Jehan Daruvala, a Red Bull Junior driver is tipped to become the third F1 driver after Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok. Photograph: Jehan Daruvala/Twitter

India's Jehan Daruvala jumped six places in an action-packed final three laps to finish fourth in the sprint race at Silverstone on Sunday, his best result so far in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.

It was a much-needed result for Daruvala, who had to endure slow starts in the earlier races due to clutch issues including the feature race on Saturday, when he finished 12th after starting seventh on the grid. In the sprint race, he started 12th.

The Indian driver, who is a Red Bull junior, overtook the feature race winner Nikita Mazepin on the final lap to secure eight points from the weekend, taking his overall tally to 18 points after four rounds of the Championship.

 

"The last two laps were super exciting. The team did a great job with the tyre strategy. Moving from P12 to P4 in the last few laps and hanging around the outside at Brooklands to pass four cars was good fun. Looking forward to being back here next week," said Daruvala.

Dan Ticktum, who is also into his maiden Formula 2 season like Daruvala, won the race from pole position with another rookie, Christian Lundgaard, finishing second. Louis Deletraz was third.

A Safety Car intervention in the late stages of the race allowed Daruvala to pit for fresh tyres, allowing him to charge through the field in the dying moments of the 21-lap race.

His Carlin teammate Yuki Tsunoda could not finish the race. The next round of the Formula 1 support series takes place in a week's time.

The 21-year-old from Mumbai is tipped to become the third Indian to reach Formula 1 after Narain Karthikeyan and Karun Chandhok.

We are financially healthy, says McLaren chief

McLaren are in good financial shape after a troubled start to a year turned upside down by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Formula One team's chief executive Zak Brown told reporters at the British Grand Prix.

The McLaren Group secured a 150 million pound ($196 million) financing facility from the National Bank of Bahrain in June after earlier cutting staff amid plunging revenues on the luxury sportscar side.

The team have subsequently announced fresh sponsorship deals, including one with former partner Gulf Oil, with Brown saying more were in the pipeline.

"I think we're in quite a good position now," said the American, whose team went into Sunday's fourth round of the season in third place in the constructors' championship.

"The bad news is behind us, as far as it relates to all the stuff that played out the last couple of months. We're financially healthy.

"I think we're benefiting from being aggressive and playing offence when COVID hit as far as recognising the severity of the issues it was going to cause for the sport and for us, and so we ran towards the problems to try and address them quickly."

British-based McLaren were the first team to furlough staff as the pandemic hit, with infrastructure projects also put on hold but since re-started.

The team have also said they are ready to sign a new commercial agreement with the sport's owners Liberty Media and the governing FIA.

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo has been signed from Renault for 2021, replacing Spaniard Carlos Sainz who is moving to Ferrari, alongside young Briton Lando Norris who took his first F1 podium in Austria last month.

"We're now exactly where we want to be," said Brown.

"Looking forward I think we're sitting on a better business model for Formula One and for McLaren for the next journey of F1. So we're in quite a good spot, and spirits are high."

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