Jehan Daruvala’s 2014 season of karting in Europe has gone very well. The Sahara Force India Academy driver finished third in the CIK FIA Championship, the highest placed finish for an Indian in international karting. And he also came very close to winning the 2014 DKM championship, the national karting championship in Germany. Unfortunately for Jehan, a dubious single-file race restart nullified his advantage in the race, and he had to eventually settle for second place in the championship.
While the plan was for Jehan to compete in the senior class of karting in Europe for two seasons in a row, the fact that he has exceeded the targets that were set for him within his first season itself, has led the young karter, and Sahara Force India as well, to make the decision to transition to single-seater racing in 2015. Daruvala is set to compete in Formula Renault ALPS and Formula Renault NEC next year. While a decision hasn’t been made as yet as to which team he will compete with, he will be testing with various teams over the next couple of months, and a decision should be made by the end of the year.
“I’ve just completed a test session in a Formula Renault car at Anglesea in Wales, and I felt that driving a single-seater came very naturally to me,” Jehan said. The test involved getting used to the various procedures in a single-seater, how to warm the car up and generally put it through its paces at a racetrack. “The areas I need the most work on are with the brakes, which are completely different from the brakes in a go-kart,” he continued. The plus point of the test was that it was a good reckoner for just how well Jehan was able to adapt to a single-seater – “We had set a benchmark time for me for the second day, and I ended the day eight-tenths quicker than that,” he declared.
Over the course of November, Jehan will put in 15 to 20 days of testing in a Formula Renault car in order to get him acclimatised to driving single-seaters. He also plans on working with Paul di Resta’s fitness coach Gerry Convy, as well as Don MacPherson, a renowned mental coach in order to be in top shape for the 2015 season.