Gambling on the alternative strategy in Qualifying failed to pay off for Jehan Daruvala and the PREMA Racing driver says he’s frustrated he wasn’t able to maximise his car’s potential.
At one point, the Indian driver had the Silverstone circuit all to himself after he and his team opted to run during the gap in running – a strategy that the team has already employed on several occasions this season. Consequently, Daruvala only had one shot on each set of soft tyres to push himself into contention this weekend.
“To be honest, I’m quite annoyed that Qualifying didn’t go to plan. I think it definitely wasn’t the right call but we took the decision together,” he noted. “We did the same thing in Barcelona and it kind of worked alright.”
“The main thing is we thought the tyres would only last for one lap, so we decided to go in the gap and get the lap done. It didn’t really pay off or look that good because everyone kept improving on the second lap on the second set and it wasn’t mean for us.
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“There was pace in the car but I needed more laps - the other guys did more than double the number of laps I did.”
Fortunately for him, P10 provides him with a chance to bounce back. Starting on reverse grid pole for the Sprint Race, Daruvala believes the PREMA car has the pace to seal victory, but nailing his getaway is going to be key.
Hoping to finish on the podium at the British track for the first time in Formula 2, the Red Bull junior says he and the team have got quite a bit to work on to optimise their strategy.
“It’s definitely possible to win. I think I need to get off the line and just try to drive away, try to dominate, get in front straight off the line. Once you’re leading, you can control the pace but the start’s going to be really important.
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“We’ll learn from what we did today and hopefully we don’t repeat the same mistakes that we did in Qualifying. I’m confident we have a fast race car, so it shouldn’t matter where we start.”
However, regardless of whether he takes the win or not, Daruvala’s got his sights set on more. Sitting third in the Championship, he’s eager to close the gap to Felipe Drugovich and Théo Pourchaire and add his name to the winners’ list in his 2022 campaign.
“It’s important to win the race but it’s still a Sprint Race win, so the goal is to win the Feature Races and for that to happen we need to qualify further up.”