Indian driver Jehan Daruvala has become the Mahindra team’s new Formula E reserve driver ahead of the first season of Gen3 racing.
Daruvala, who joined the Red Bull junior team in 2020, has been racing in Formula 2 since 2020, picking up four wins and a best championship finish of seventh.
He has not been viewed as a viable F1 option by Red Bull, which even with the introduction of the new mandate for rookie practice outings has favoured other juniors for these gigs, but has instead had private F1 tests with McLaren.
Formula E has followed F1’s cue in adopting a requirement for teams to field a rookie in two practice sessions across 2023, which Daruvala will presumably be the choice for – with the first-ever Indian Formula E race in Hyderabad in February presenting a potential opportunity for a popular home outing, even though it will come fairly early in the season when mileage for the race drivers will be more critical.
The likes of Jordan King, Sam Dejonghe and former race driver Nick Heidfeld are Daruvala’s predecessors in the role.
“To be a part of an Indian motorsport team is a dream come true,” said Daruvala.
“Formula E is very competitive, and I am really excited about this new chapter of my career. Season nine promises to be very exciting with the all-new Gen3 car and I am looking forward to learning and contributing, especially to car development and supporting the team.”
Daruvala is expected to continue racing in F2, having spent three days of post-season testing driving for MP Motorsport – which has already confirmed Dennis Hauger, Daruvala’s former F2 team-mate and another Red Bull junior, in one of the seats.
His Mahindra role will entail simulator work back on base, where he will be “providing car development and race support” for the main line-up of Lucas di Grassi and Oliver Rowland. He will attend “some races”. Out of the events currently on Formula E’s yet-to-be-finalised calendar, only the Jakarta round and the London finale clash with F2.
Daruvala was already aligned with a major Indian motorsport outfit in the past, having been a Force India junior as one of the three drivers selected in its ‘One From A Billion’ talent evaluation programme.