CHENNAI: Jehan Daruvala would have liked his Formula 2 campaign to start on a better note if not the best when the motorsport season resumed at the Austrian Grand Prix last weekend.
Despite finishing sixth during practice, the Indian racer's speed did not yield a positive result. Daruvala, who races for Carlin Motorsport, settled for 12th spot in his first race after his car spun in the first lap on Saturday.
Retaining the position for the sprint race on Sunday, the 21-year-old finished 14th on the road. However, a five-second penalty dropped him to 16th position. Though the results didn't go his way, Daruvala was content with the speed.
"It was a challenging weekend but I was happy with the performance. The speed was very good throughout the weekend. The first race was a shame as I got spun in the third corner and it kind of ruined the whole weekend," Daruvala told this newspaper from Spielberg, Austria.
After a successful F3 Championship last year, where he came third and was also in the race for the title, expectations have increased on Daruvala. Adding to that, he was signed by F1 giants Red Bull Racing for its junior driver programme earlier this year.
The programme has played a vital role in the rise of Sebastian Vettel, who steered the team to four straight titles — both constructors and driver championship — between 2010 and 2013, Daniel Ricciardo, Alex
Albon and the outfit's current star Max Verstappen.
With the next race set to take place at Red Bull Ring — Red Bull's home track — in Spielberg this weekend, Daruvala hopes to put on a better show. "There is always an added pressure of being a Red Bull junior. But not anymore at this circuit. It's the same for us, juniors, everywhere. It's not different (for me
alone) but there is always quite a lot of pressure for us to perform. I'm looking forward to a clean weekend next week and see where it gets us to," added the former Force India Academy driver.