Indian driver Jehan Daruvala finished third in the Formula 2 championship's French round, giving him six podium finishes of the year. In the Sprint race, he got out to a fast start and took the lead going into the first bend; a collision involving three cars forced the safety car to the front.
Jehan perfectly timed the restart, enabling him to narrow the distance between himself and Liam Lawson in the second position. The latter, though, was able to get closer because of his faster straight-line speed. It appeared like Lawson would soon pass Jehan using his car's faster speed on the straightaways, and sure enough, the Kiwi swerved around the outside into Turn 1.
Jehan maintained his line, but they collided, causing a tear to appear on his front tire. Fortunately, he avoided getting punctured. A few circuits later, Marcus Armstrong made an inside move through the same bend to try to overtake Jehan for a second. They made contact, but Jehan maintained his place despite being driven wide across the chicane. But because he had to drastically slow down to give up any lead he might have had, Lawson was able to take a clear lead at the front.
Jehan said, “It’s good to be back on the podium after what happened in Silverstone and Austria. We were struggling with pace down the straights but had some good battles to finish 2nd. We would have finished even higher in the Feature race with our strategy to run a long first stint but we gambled on a safety car and stayed out a bit longer than ideal. Other than that, it was a solid weekend for us. We still have some areas to work on and I’m confident we’ll come back stronger next weekend in Hungary.”
Jehan began the Feature race from position 10 on the grid after Armstrong knocked him off the track on Sunday, earning him a five-second time penalty. A mix of strategy, which put Jehan in the lead before his stops, and blazing pace following his late changeover to fresh tires, though, allowed him to work his way up to seventh place.
The second-place showing by Jehan in France was his sixth of the year. A post-race penalty in the most recent round in Austria prevented the 23-year-old, who competes for the Italian team Prema, from claiming a possible fourth F2 triumph. The Red Bull-sponsored driver, who this week finished a second Formula One test with McLaren, is now headed to Hungary for the final race in a hectic month of competition before the summer break.