F2 Leader Maloney: ‘I Haven’t Thought About the Championship Once’

F2 Leader Maloney: ‘I Haven’t Thought About the Championship Once’

Zane Maloney at an autograph session in Melbourne | Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited

Zane Maloney enters Formula 2’s fourth round at Imola with a 15-point championship lead – and no interest in thinking about it.

Rodin Motorsport driver Maloney currently has 62 points in the standings with three of 14 rounds of 2024 complete, having taken top-10 finishes in all six races so far.

He began his season by winning both the sprint and the feature race in Bahrain, becoming the 11th driver in the combined history of GP2 and F2 to win all races in a weekend.

Those results gave him a 12-point lead entering Jeddah, where he then took fourth and seventh to extend his lead to 15 points. He maintained that advantage leaving Melbourne, where he took 10th in the sprint race and third in the feature, and now looks to extend it further following the second tier’s two-month break from racing.

The Sauber junior said he was not thinking about the points table when asked about it by InsideF2 after the Melbourne feature race.

“No, for sure not. I haven’t thought about the championship once, to be honest,” he said. “Of course, it’s a lot better of a start than I had last year for me because I’m doing a better job, but I think that the reason I’m doing a good job is because of how I’m focused and what we’re doing as a team.

“If we were to ever think about the championship, then you just drive differently, and even though you don’t think you are, if it’s in the back of your mind, then you are.

“I mean, I know already that if I want any chance at a Formula 1 seat in the future, I need to be winning races and being on the podium. If I’m P5 each weekend and collecting points and I win the championship, that’s not enough to get into Formula 1 nowadays.

“So I need to be consistently on the podium, and to do that I need to be aggressive. You saw yesterday I was a little bit too aggressive, so it’s finding that sweet spot within myself, which I feel I’m going to get there soon, hopefully sooner than making too many mistakes. But the approach is always the same. Go for it.”

The most recent F2 champion is recently confirmed McLaren IndyCar driver and Maloney’s fellow Sauber junior Théo Pourchaire. The Frenchman took only one race win in Bahrain en route to the 2023 title, which he won by 11 points over Frederik Vesti. He is seen as an example of a driver who may have compromised his reputation by being too conservative in his pursuit of the title.

Maloney finished third in practice this morning at the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola. He was 0.077 seconds off session leader Paul Aron, who currently sits second in the championship standings.

Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited

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Zane Maloney at an autograph session in Melbourne | Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited