Daruvala F2 2022

Daruvala feels third F2 season ‘hasn’t gone the way I wanted’ so far

The 2022 season seems to be decisive for the future of Red Bull Junior Jehan Daruvala’s motorsport career. He needs a strong campaign if he has any hope of becoming a Formula 1 driver in the near future, but a difficult start by his standards has left him already 60 points off the championship lead with less than half the season gone. F1 Feeder Series and selected media spoke to Daruvala about the contrast between being third in the standings and far off the fight for the title.

By Tyler Foster

“It’s been a mixed season. Results have been all right.”

This quote exemplifies the tough situation in which Daruvala finds himself. He is one of five Red Bull juniors in Formula 2 this year battling for what is looking like an increasingly unlikely opportunity to steal a seat at AlphaTauri next year. Especially for Daruvala, who will turn 24 this October, it seems time is running out for the F1 dream.

He refuses to discuss the speculation about his Red Bull connection and focuses solely on his job in Formula 2 with Prema Racing. It seems surprising that Daruvala would be disappointed with four podiums and third place in the championship after five rounds, yet this reaction only highlights the incredible job that Felipe Drugovich and MP Motorsport have done so far.

Pivotal moment

In response to a question from F1 Feeder Series, Daruvala, who currently has 53 points, discussed the specific moment when he began to lose touch with both Drugovich and Théo Pourchaire in the standings.

“I think that disappointing one was probably the Feature Race in Barcelona, where I was only 20 points off the lead before that and starting ahead of Pourchaire and Drugovich. And I DNFed from a very good position, and Felipe won the race. I ended up 45 points behind just after that one race.”

On Friday at Barcelona, Jehan Daruvala is followed by Felipe Drugovich and Théo Pourchaire, the two drivers he trails in the championship | Credit: Dutch Photo Agency / Red Bull Content Pool

Daruvala’s ability to win the title has been hindered by underperformance in qualifying, which has caused him to struggle more in the Feature Races than in the Sprints. Daruvala seems to know what he needs to improve.

“I guess the season hasn’t gone ideally the way I wanted, but I’ve still been fast and scoring in decent positions, but I definitely need to make that step up and be fighting for Feature Race wins if I want to be catching up. That’s definitely my goal for this weekend and the coming few rounds as well.”

Kick-start title challenge

With this in mind, a first win this season may give Daruvala the momentum to kick-start a title challenge. His teammate Dennis Hauger, despite being 23 points behind, has already won a race this season, doing so last time out in the Sprint Race in Monaco. Ironically, it was Daruvala who finished second in that race.

Daruvala said that he wasn’t annoyed at that result and that he understood the nature of luck in motorsport. His maturity may play an important factor later in the year as the pressure hots up in the fight for the Formula 2 championship.

Next up is Baku and its mix of tight, twisty sections in the historical city centre and the longest straight on the current calendar. If Daruvala has hoped for something chaotic to shift the momentum of the season, perhaps this is the weekend he’ll get it.

Header photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

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