Jehan Daruvala made it back-to-back wins for PREMA Racing in Spain, after an eventful FIA Formula 3 Race 2 at the Spanish Grand Prix. The Indian driver finished on top after a dominant drive ahead of Hitech Grand Prix’s Juri Vips and Niko Kari of Trident.
Daruvala started strongly from the front row to take P1 from polesitter Kari as Vips dropped from third to fifth behind Marcus Armstrong and Max Fewtrell. There was drama further back at Turn 1 with Ye Yifei and Artem Petrov made contact. Raoul Hyman and Jake Hughes had nowhere to go and the ensuing collision sent all four drivers into the gravel and out of the race.
The safety car was deployed while the cars were recovered. Five laps later Kari looked to pressure Daruvala for P1 from the restart, but the PREMA ace calmly held position before building up a healthy lead.
Lap 9 saw more drama as the MP Motorsport machine of Simo Laaksonen was sent spinning into the wall by Campos Racing’s Alex Peroni. The Australian had been forced off the track and tried to defend position as he rejoined, only to cut back across the Finn. Laaksonen was forced to retire, Peroni handed a 10-second stop-and-go penalty, and the safety car saw its second outing of the afternoon.
That meant that Daruvala’s lead over 7.4s lead over Kari was reduced to nothing as the racing pack was bunched together. It didn’t seem to bother the Indian, though, as following the restart he picked up just where he’d left off and began rebuilding a gap.
Further behind there was plenty of jockeying for position as PREMA’s Saturday race winner Robert Shwartzman lunged past Christian Lundgaard for P6, and the Danish man immediately had to defend from ART Grand Prix teammate David Beckmann.
With seven laps to go Vips began a charge from P5 that saw him reel Armstrong and then Fewtrell to burst into the top three, with Shwartzman closely following the Estonian to take P4. Fewtrell was more than two seconds off the pace and fell further back into P7 after teammate Lundgaard passed him.
Vips continued to push, closing on Kari and taking P2 on Lap 21, but Daruvala looked supreme out in front with an unassailable lead to take the checkered flag ahead of the Hitech man in second, Kari in P3, with Shwartzman, Armstrong, Lundgaard, Beckmann and Fewtrell completing the point scoring positions.
Shwartzman is the early leader in the drivers’ championship with 37 points. Lundgaard is second with 24, and Daruvala third by just one point with 23. Armstrong and Vips follow with 21 and 20 points respectively.
France will host Round 2 of the FIA Formula 3 Championship on June 21-23.