Indian racer Kush Maini narrowly misses out on podium in Formula Two feature race debut

Maini advanced to F2 with Campos Racing this season after finishing 14th in the F3 championship the previous year.

Kush Maini in a file photo. (Image: Twitter)
By Nilavro Ghosh | Mar 6, 2023 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

After placing in the points in both Bahrain’s sprint and feature races, Indian racer Kush Maini has had a strong start to his FIA Formula 2 career. He competed for Campos Racing and finished seventh in the sprint race before taking fourth in the feature race. In the meantime, Jehan Daruvala battled through the field to place sixth in the sprint race. But he only managed to finish P17 in the feature race, which was a more disappointing event.

Maini advanced to F2 with Campos Racing this season after finishing 14th in the F3 championship the previous year. He qualified for his first race with the sixth-fastest time, giving him the fifth starting spot in the reverse grid sprint race. He dropped a few spots at the beginning, but he made a strong comeback to place seventh, with teammate Ralph Boschung taking first place. He got off to a much better start in the main event and was up to second place going into the first corner. Maini fought for the podium all the way to the finish, but he ultimately had to make way for Zane Maloney, who used his fresher tyres to move up from 18th on the starting grid to third place in the race.

Maini, who came in fourth, narrowly missed the podium. However, the Indian scored a lot of points in his first F2 race. With a total of 14 points, he is currently fourth in the standings, just one point behind Maloney.

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Two Indians in F2 2023 season

Two Indians are on the F2 grid this year. In addition to Jehan Daruvala, who is launching his fourth F2 season with the defending champions MP Motorsport, Maini is also making his debut. Daruvala manoeuvred his way through the field to take sixth place in the sprint race after starting from grid position 11. He said in a post-race interview that he thought his pace was good enough for a podium finish in the main event, but that didn’t happen. After being given a five-second fine for speeding in the pit lane, he ultimately placed 17th.

Max Verstappen wins F1 season opener in Bahrain

In the 2023 Bahrain Grand Prix, Max Verstappen defeated teammate Sergio Perez to win for Red Bull. Fernando Alonso finished third as Charles Leclerc withdrew from the competition. Verstappen had a strong start, but teammate Perez fell back and lost second place to Leclerc – while Carlos Sainz couldn’t quite take P3 away from the Red Bull. All but Kevin Magnussen (P15) started the race on soft tyres. The current champion extended his lead and ultimately prevailed by more than ten seconds. With both Red Bull drivers using similar soft-soft-hard driving styles, Perez completed the one-two.

When Lance Stroll lunged at teammate Alonso into Turn 4 and hit the rear-right of his car, allowing both Mercedes ahead, Aston Martin’s hopes of disrupting the podium battle appeared to have been dashed on Lap 1. However, Leclerc’s engine problem forced him to retire on lap 41, shattering Ferrari’s chances of the podium. Alonso had just pulled off an absolutely brilliant manoeuvre to pass Lewis Hamilton for fifth place down the inside of Turn 10. After a stunning battle through Sector 2, Alonso passed Sainz on Lap 45 to secure his first podium finish since Qatar 2021. Alonso then went on the offensive.