Kush Maini Secures First Pole in Bahrain

Kush Maini Secures First Pole in Bahrain


This morning, the FIA Formula 2 Championship made its eagerly anticipated return for the 2024 season in Bahrain, with teams and drivers taking to the track under the floodlights for the season’s inaugural competitive laps.

The depth of talent on display has set the stage for an exciting battle in the first qualifying and points-scoring session.

With 23 minutes remaining, Kush Maini surged to the top with a robust performance, particularly in the lower-speed sections, clocking a time of 1:42.533. Close on his heels were Dennis Hauger with a 1:42.578 and Enzo Fittipaldi with a 1:42.822.

In an interesting turn, Zak O’Sullivan initially outpaced championship favourite Victor Martins, who found himself in eighth place, 0.7 seconds adrift after their initial fast laps. Martins later struggled to find grip on the track, failing to improve his time on subsequent laps.

F3 Champion Gabriel Bortoleto marked his competitive debut in the 2024 Formula 2 season with a sixth-place time of 1:43.006, showing promising pace.

Mid-session, Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar and Josep María Martí opted for an unconventional strategy, going out for their first push laps during the reset period, a notable departure from the norm. Hadjar excelled with the fastest time in sector 1 and solid performances in sectors 2 and 3, while Martí mirrored this approach, leading them to top the timecards with Hadjar in P1 with a 1:42.418 and Martí close behind with a 1:42.439.

Meanwhile, championship hopeful Ollie Bearman found himself at the bottom of the leaderboard as PREMA Racing worked intensively on the young Brit’s car to troubleshoot a potential issue.

The session’s final burst of activity saw times improving in the last eight minutes. Zane Maloney initially claimed the top spot with a 1:41.938, only to be quickly overtaken by Hadjar, Bortoleto and then Maini, who delivered an exceptional performance with two purple sectors to clinch provisional pole with a 1:41.696, positioning the Invicta Cars at the forefront as the session concluded.

A delighted Invicta team celebrated Maini’s first pole position and the teams one-two with Gabriel Bortoleto just behind to give them the advantage for this weekends Feature Race.


Image: Formula Motorsport Limited

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