GP3 was “definitely an option” for Force India junior Jehan Daruvala after a strong maiden season in the European Formula 3 championship.
After finishing seventh in his rookie season in F3, Daruvala was considering a move to the Formula 1 support series for 2018.
He was one of seven F3 drivers to run in the GP3 test at the end of last year, but decided to continue with Carlin in F3 for a second season.
“I had to deliberate long and hard between the two series as both F3 and GP3 have their own pros and cons,” he told Read Motorsport.
“The GP3 in Abu Dhabi went very well. Doing GP3 would have helped me learn the Pirelli tyres better and learn some more F1 tracks.
“I eventually decided to stay in F3 as there are many more races in the championship, a lot more track time, the field is very competitive, learning how to optimise the high downforce, etc will help my development as a driver which is the most important aspect at this point in my career.”
Daruvala took three podiums in 2017, including his maiden victory in the series at the Norisring, and finished second in the rookie championship.
He told Read he was happy with the results from his rookie season and believes he should be competitive in 2018.
“Given that it was my rookie year, I am quite happy that I was competitive from the beginning of the championship,” he said.
“To be on pole and get a podium in my second weekend of the championship was a pleasant surprise.
“I did find it difficult to be consistent and that did cost me a lot through the championship. However, having a win, three podiums, and a pole position, coming second in the rookie championship and being the only driver to have finished all 30 races was a satisfying result.
“I feel that I should be very competitive in 2018. However, there are too many variables, including development of the car by various teams, new drivers, etc to make predictions for next year.”
The 19-year-old is the only driver confirmed so far to be entering his second full season in F3. He’ll be joined at Carlin by Canadian racer Devlin DeFrancesco.
Carlin is expected to announce more drivers before the start of the season in May.