Kush Maini Pleased With F2 Feature Race Podium

Kush Maini Pleased With F2 Feature Race Podium

Kush Maini Formula 2 Jeddah 2024

Invicta Racing’s Kush Maini says he’s pleased with his pace during Saturday’s FIA Formula 2 Feature Race in Saudi Arabia, despite not converting pole position into victory. 

The Indian was promoted to P1 after PREMA’s Oliver Bearman, who’d topped Qualifying, was withdrawn from the F2 weekend to make his Formula 1 debut with Ferrari, deputizing for the ill Carlos Sainz.

Maini had led the early stages of the Feature Race, but was passed by eventual race winner Enzo Fittipaldi on Lap 13. 

Despite that, the Alpine Academy Driver says he’s feeling good.

“[Friday’s Sprint Race] was a tough race and we turned it around today,” the 23-year-old said.

He added: “We made 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.”

Maini scored 19 points across the weekend in Jeddah, after picking up a point for finishing eighth in Friday’s Sprint Race.

Invicta impressed by Maini’s performance

Maini’s P2 is Invicta’s first podium of the season, even though they’ve started both Feature Race’s from pole position this season so far.

The Indian said it was ‘solid’ points scored in the early stages of the season, calling it a ‘good day in the office’.

After two rounds, he’s 20 points off of early pace setter, Zane Maloney – who won both races at Round 1 in Bahrain.

Team boss, Andy Roche, praised Maini’s drive.

“It was a really good race from Kush. We still have a little bit of work to do on race pace, but I was very impressed with him. He handled the tyre degradation very well ,” he said.

F2 rookie vows to keep pushing despite DNF

Reigning FIA Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto saw his Feature Race come to an early end on Saturday.

The Brazilian struggled to get away from the grid at the start, with a lot of tyre smoking being made.

It turned out his car had encountered a driveshaft problem the team had not seen before.

“It was just not our weekend, sadly. I wish we could have scored some points for the team here,” the 19-year-old said.

However, Bortoleto is confident heading to the next round in Australia.

“Melbourne is next, a track that I love and where I won in FIA Formula 3 last season, so I am looking forward to it. We will keep pushing.”

Invicta have shown good pace in both rounds so far in 2024, and arguably should have more points to show for it.

But, Team Principal Roche isn’t fazed by the early set back, stressing there’s still a long way to go this season.

“It is still very close in the championship standings at this stage, and it will be around the middle of the season where we get a clearer picture of the pecking order.”

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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Kush Maini Formula 2 Jeddah 2024