Kush Maini Pleased With Spain Sprint Podium

Kush Maini Pleased With Spain Sprint Podium

Kush Maini. Barcelona Sprint Podium 2024

Invicta’s Kush Maini says he’s ‘satisfied’ with second place in Saturday’s FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race in Spain – despite starting from pole position. 

The Indian driver made a poor getaway as the lights went out in Barcelona, dropping him to fourth on the opening lap.

It allowed ART’s Victor Martins to leap into a lead he would never lose, going on to score his first win of the season. 

“I’m satisfied with that result after a really challenging race. I was on the back foot after a bad start, but managed to regain some of those positions in the early laps,” the 23-year-old said.

The Alpine Academy driver made a brave pass on DAMS driver Juan Manuel Correa at the start of Lap 2, which helped him on his way to his third podium appearance of the season.

Tyre management in Spain was key, as was keeping the Dallara-built cars within track limits.

Rodin’s Ritomo Miyata fell foul of the penalty system, earning himself 10 seconds-worth of time penalties, which allowed Maini to inherit P2.

“You had to be so careful with the tyres to not overheat them and a lot of people really struggled with that,” Maini said post-race.

He starts Sunday’s Feature Race 10th and has his sights set on progression: “Of course, tomorrow is where we can score big points so we’ll be aiming to move forward in the Feature Race,” he said.

Bortoleto bemoans final lap struggles

Invicta had been set for a double-podium finish as reigning FIA Formula 3 champion, Gabriel Bortoleto ran fourth behind Maini (both benefited from Miyata’s penalties).

But the Brazilian saw his tyres lose a significant amount of grip and performance on the final lap, allowing Juan Manuel Correa and championship leader Paul Aron to pass him.

The McLaren Junior said: “I’m so disappointed to miss out on the podium in that way. I held on as long as I could, but in the end, it wasn’t enough. If the race were one lap shorter, we would’ve made it a double podium for the team.”

The 19-year-old would have scored his third podium of the season in what’s been an impressive step up from the lower category of F3.

The teenager says he’ll regroup for Sunday.

He said: “Tonight, we will reset and look to maximise the Feature Race. Starting from fourth, we should be in a position to challenge for the podium again.”

‘A good day for the team’ says boss Roche

Despite missing out on the podium with Bortoleto, Team Principal at Invicta, Andy Roche, was pleased with Saturday’s haul of points.

He said: “Today was a positive day for Invicta Racing overall, despite the disappointment for Gabriel late on.

“He still took some useful championship points from today and Kush got back onto the podium which was great to see.

“Our pace was encouraging, so I think we have everything we need to fight at the front in tomorrow’s

Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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Kush Maini. Barcelona Sprint Podium 2024