Kush Maini on F2 podium in Saudi Arabia

Kush Maini on F2 podium in Saudi Arabia

Kush Maini made it to the podium Saudi Arabia after finishing second in the F2 Feature Race. The Indian racer had inherited pole position for the race after Oliver Bearman was called up make his F1 debut with Ferrari, replacing Carlos Sainz who was diagnosed with appendicitis.

  1. Maini started the race from pole
  2. Fifth overall in the championship

Maini P2 in F2 Saudi Arabian GP

After a perfect launch, Maini held the lead into Turn 1 and started pulling away from Jak Crawford. But that lead was nullified when the Safety Car was brought out for a first lap incident.

Once racing resumed, Maini once again started pulling away out at front. He held on to the net lead after the first round of pit stops, but Van Amersfoort Racing’s Enzo Fittipaldi was gaining ground behind him. On Lap 13, Fittipaldi dived down the inside to overtake Maini and move up to fourth place, which was the net lead at the time).

The Safety Car was brought out once again on Lap 15, giving Amaury Cordeel and Taylor Barnard (on the alternate strategy) the chance to pit for fresh rubber without losing position.

Back to green flag conditions, Maini successfully defended from Crawford. He then passed both Barnard and Cordeel in the closing stages to grab second place behind race winner Fittipaldi. “I am feeling good. Yesterday was a tough race and we really, really turned it around today,” said Maini, who finished eighth in Friday’s Sprint Race.

“We had a massive step forward and we know now what to do with the car, and the team and I are feeling very positive for Melbourne. Today we had good pace, not quite the pace to win, but we definitely held our own, which is very positive and it is solid points in the bag. So, it was a good day in the office overall.”

Maini made the step up to F2 last year, finishing the season in 11th place. He showed some impressive pace in his rookie season, though, even collecting his first podium at the Australian GP sprint race.

Along with being mentored by two-time F1 champion Mika Hakkinen, the Indian has also received backing from two major manufacturers. He’s now part of the Alpine F1 team’s young driver programme and he’s also been announced as Mahindra Racing’s new Formula E reserve driver. He’s participating in his sophomore F2 season this year, switching from Campos to Invicta.

2024 F2 championship standings

Maini is now fifth overall in the championship, two points behind Paul Aron and 20 points behind overall lead Zane Maloney. F2 will now head to Melbourne for the Australian GP on March 22-24.

2024 F2 Saudi Arabian GP Feature Race results

2024 F2 Saudi Arabian GP Feature Race results
Pos Driver Team
1 Enzo Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing
2 Kush Maini Invicta Racing
3 Dennis Hauger MP Motorsport
4 Jak Crawford DAMS Lucas Oil
5 Amaury Cordeel Hitech Pulse-Eight
6 Andrea Kimi Antonelli Prema Racing
7 Zane Maloney Rodin Motorsport
8 Richard Verschoor Trident
9 Rafael Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing
10 Paul Aron Hitech Pulse-Eight
11 Victor Martins ART Grand Prix
12 Joshua Durksen PHM AIX Racing
13 Taylor Barnard PHM AIX Racing
14 Juan Manuel Correa DAMS Lucas Oil
15 Ritomo Miyata Rodin Motorsport

Also see:

Kush Maini: ‘Formula E test role can help improve F2 results’

FanCode to stream F1 in India; packages start at Rs 49

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