The Indian driver will line up P5 on the grid in the Sprint Race on Saturday following a penalty for Felipe Drugovich that has dropped the Championship leader outside of the top 10. It gives Daruvala a grid slot on the clean side of the grid and, according to the man himself, a chance at redemption and victory following a tough weekend in Zandvoort.
“P5 is a decent result, I think. Considering the past few weekends that we’ve had, it’s been a struggle for sure. We’re in a good place and I’m happy this weekend.
“I think that Zandvoort was probably the only weekend of the year I’ve not driven well in terms of my own performance. It’s good to bounce back straight away the weekend after. It’s nice that this year’s calendar allows you to have a bad week and then get back on it straight away and show what you can do.”
Following the reunion of the Formula 2 paddock at Spa-Francorchamps post-summer break, Daruvala has scored just one solitary point after disappointing results in both Belgium and the Netherlands.
At Zandvoort, his Feature Race performance saw him climb back through the order to claim 10th position, but it’s not the kind of result he expects of himself.
Following Practice and Qualifying at Monza, Daruvala says that he feels like he is back to his usual form and has a car underneath him that is capable of fighting at the front in both races this weekend.
“My lap was pretty good. To be in the top five is good. I’m in a good starting place for both Races, P5 in the Sprint and sixth for the Feature at a track you can overtake a lot at, I think we’re in a good place for both races.
“The win is possible. That’s what I’m targeting, it just depends on how much pace we have. We can even win both races from where we are. I think we need to see where we are. We will do some work overnight and hopefully have a good car to then try and climb up the order.”
With a top five finish in the Drivers’ Championship still in touching distance for Daruvala, he is satisfied with the work he and the team has put in this weekend to turn the ship around post-Zandvoort.
Just 24 points separate the PREMA driver in 9th and Liam Lawson in P5 in the Drivers’ Championship with four races remaining of the 2022 season.
Daruvala says that his confidence has been building with each session so far this weekend and he hasn’t given up hope of breaking back into the top five before the end of the year.
“All in all, it was a good day for me, obviously a difficult day for Dennis (Hauger) but I think I’m happy with the way I drove today in general, in Practice and Qualifying.
“We’ve taken a big step forward, even in Free Practice. There was a lot of potential in the car, I felt confident on the brakes. In Qualifying I felt quite confident and it’s a shame that there was a yellow flag because I was improving in sector one and two, so you never know. Let’s see what I can do over the next few days."