MacauGP: Jehan Daruvala secures Top 10 result after surviving a puncture
Jehan Daruvala started his first Macau GP visit finishing 13th in the opening practice on Thursday morning in his Sahara Force India-liveried Carlin car.
The Indian was 16th in Qualifying 1, after he had to abort his final lap, which looked faster than his previous lap – but he was promoted to 15th after Yuhi Sekiguchi was disqualified.
Up front, Daruvala’s teammate Lando Norris took pole ahead of Van Amersfoort Racing’s Pedro Piquet and Prema’s Maximilian Gunther.
The Friday morning practice saw an improvement from the Mumbaikar as he finished 10th, but it was disaster in Qualifying 2 after he tagged the barriers on his second flaying lap – as a result of which he was only 19th.
Another stop/start session in the F3 World Cup saw Motopark’s Joel Eriksson take pole from Norris, with Prema’s Callum Ilott completing the Top 3.
It was a steady start from Daruvala in the weekend’s first race on Saturday, with the Indian positioned 19th behind TOM’s entrant Sho Tsuboi.
With the circuit posing difficult challenge in overtaking, Daruvala had a gradual movement, after he could only make up two positions by Lap 6 to be 17th.
While fighting with Motopark’s Tadasuke Makino, the Indian made an eventual move on the final lap to finish 16th in the 10-lap race.
Up front, it was a thrilling battle between pole-sitter Eriksson and Ilott, with the British driver overtaking the Swede to take a comfortable win.
Meanwhile, in the race to the flag, after losing the lead, Eriksson just managed to hold back Motopark teammate Sergio Sette Camara for second by a mere 0.686s.
It wasn't a perfect start for Daruvala in the Main Race on Sunday afternoon as the Indian lost three places to drop to 19th in the opening lap.
Just when he looked to make up positions, the Carlin driver was forced to make a pit stop under the safety car for a change of tyres due to a puncture, which further limited his chances.
Post his stop, he lost one place to Ilott, but was already up to 13th with mishaps to several other drivers in the 15-lap race, including the early leader Eriksson.
In the closing stages, Daruvala cleared Alex Palou to move to 11th after Ilott's retirement, but a last lap tangle between Camara and Habsburg allowed him to secure a Top 10 result - with him finishing in 10th.
Meanwhile, the incident between the Top 2 allowed for the Red Bull junior and Motopark driver Daniel Ticktum to sneak through and claim the winning honours in the 64th running of the Macau GP.
Earlier in the race, the British driver made an astonishing move to clear both Gunther and Norris at one go into the corner, with the McLaren junior then having to settle for second position.
Gunther's slowing pace also allowed for Van Amersfoort Racing's Ralf Aron to move up and eventually claim the final podium position, finishing just ahead of Habsburg - who crossed the line on three wheels.