Kush Maini

Formula 2 News: Maini wins, then loses pole in Bahrain (Update)

Invicta Racing’s Kush Maini has lost his pole position for the opening round of the 2024 Formula 2 season in Bahrain having been disqualified when his car failed inspection.

This hands the pole to reigning Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto for his F2 debut.

Following a post-race inspection of his Invicta-run car, it was found that the height of the left undertray front external strake was below the required height.

All of his times from qualifying were deleted and will see the Indian driver start both the sprint and the feature race from the back of the grid.

A statement from the FIA on the matter read: “In respect of Car 9, the left undertray front external strake in the area defined in the Technical Delegate’s report was outside the thresholds outlined in Articles 3.4.1 and 3.4.2 of the 2024 Formula 2 Technical Regulations.

“Disqualification of Car 9 from the results of the Qualifying Session. Removal of all times set by Car 9 in the Qualifying Session. All cars originally classified behind Car 9 are moved up one place in the Qualifying Session classification.

“Permission is given for Car 9 to start the Sprint Race from the back of the grid after any other penalties are applied. Permission is given for Car 9 to start the Feature Race from the back of the grid after any other penalties are applied.”

February 29, 2024 

Kush Maini scored his maiden pole position in FIA Formula 2 as he beat out teammate Gabriel Bortoleto to seal a P1 start for Saturday’s Feature Race.

On his final attempt in Qualifying, Maini completed a lap of 1:41.696 to go to the top of the timesheets. Bortoleto followed his teammate across the line to place second, two-tenths off the pole-winning effort.

Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar completed a lap good enough for third having led the way earlier in the session.

It was Maini who set the early pace for Invicta Racing aided by a strong middle sector, he completed a lap of 1:42.533 to lead Hauger by just 0.045s.

With 10 minutes gone, the drivers returned to the pitlane for some fresher tires. However, that was when Campos elected to send Hadjar and Josep María Martí out on track for the first time in the session.

Hadjar then went to the top of the timesheets with a lap of 1:42.418, with Martí behind him across the line going to second, 0.021s off the Frenchman’s benchmark effort.

Bortoleto qualified second for Invicta on his Formula 2 debut

Bortoleto qualified second for Invicta on his Formula 2 debut

The rest of the field then emerged from the pit lane ahead of their final runs with Maloney going fastest. But the Bajan’s time was quickly eclipsed by the Invicta pair of Maini and Bortoleto, with Hadjar then going to third.

Maloney, and a number of other drivers including ART Grands Prix’s Victor Martins, made their second attempts at the top spot, but with the Pirelli rubber not offering more than one push lap on the abrasive Bahrain tarmac, no driver could eclipse Maini’s time.

With Invicta locking out the front row and Hadjar following in third, Zane Maloney and Dennis Hauger rounded out the top five for Rodin Motorsport and MP Motorsport respectively.

Rookies Ritomo Miyata and Zak O’ Sullivan followed for Rodin and ART Grand Prix, while Enzo Fittipaldi placed eighth for Van Amersfoort Racing.

Victor Martins qualified ninth for ART, with Taylor Barnard set to line up on pole for Friday’s Sprint Race after qualifying 10th for PHM AIX Racing.

Attentions now turns to the 23-lap Sakhir Sprint Race with lights out set to occur at 17:15 local time on Friday, March 1.

F2 Bahrain Qualifying Results

Pos No Driver and Team Laps Time Gap Int
1 9 K. Maini Invicta Racing 10 1:41.696 0.000 0.000
2 10 G. Bortoleto Invicta Racing 10 1:41.915 0.219 0.219
3 20 I. Hadjar Campos Racing 8 1:41.938 0.242 0.023
4 5 Z. Maloney Rodin Carlin 12 1:41.982 0.286 0.044
5 11 D. Hauger MP Motorsport 12 1:41.990 0.294 0.008
6 6 R. Miyata Rodin Carlin 12 1:42.003 0.307 0.013
7 2 Z. O’Sullivan ART Grand Prix 11 1:42.014 0.318 0.011
8 14 E. Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 12 1:42.070 0.374 0.056
9 1 V. Martins ART Grand Prix 11 1:42.158 0.462 0.088
10 25 T. Barnard PHM Racing 11 1:42.207 0.511 0.049
11 7 J. Crawford DAMS 11 1:42.287 0.591 0.080
12 21 J. Martí Campos Racing 8 1:42.333 0.637 0.046
13 17 P. Aron Hitech Pulse-Eight 11 1:42.340 0.644 0.007
14 8 J. Correa DAMS 12 1:42.369 0.673 0.029
15 15 R. Villagómez Van Amersfoort Racing 12 1:42.392 0.696 0.023
16 12 F. Colapinto MP Motorsport 12 1:42.392 0.696 0.000
17 22 R. Verschoor Trident 10 1:42.644 0.948 0.252
18 4 A. Antonelli PREMA Racing 11 1:42.693 0.997 0.049
19 3 O. Bearman PREMA Racing 11 1:42.710 1.014 0.017
20 16 A. Cordeel Hitech Pulse-Eight 11 1:42.945 1.249 0.235
21 23 R. Stanek Trident 10 1:43.068 1.372 0.123
22 24 J. Dürksen PHM Racing 11 1:43.153 1.457 0.085


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