Formula 2 racer Kush Maini has revealed that his career will now be guided by two-time Formula 1 world champion Mika Hakkinen.
Maini has spent eight years in junior single-seater racing and he is currently in his rookie season in F2. The 23-year-old started the campaign with eight points finishes in the first 10 races, including a sprint race podium in Melbourne, but in the 14 races since has only scored three times and has slipped from fourth to 11th in the standings.
“Super excited to announce that two-time F1 world champion Mika Hakkinen will be mentoring me and guiding my career from here on out,” said Maini. “So grateful for this amazing opportunity to learn from one of the greatest in motorsport.”
Hakkinen’s racing career ended in 2007 and he moved into driver management a year later. The most notable driver he has worked with so far is fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas, who currently races for Mercedes in F1.
Maini started his car racing career with two years in Formula 4, netting three podiums in the Italian championship across two seasons. He then stepped up to BRDC British Formula 3 (now known as GB3) and took a win en route to third in the standings.
Another slight step up followed in 2019 as he raced in the Formula Regional-spec Formula Renault Eurocup, making the podium on his debut but then taking only four top-five finishes after that. However that was still enough to put him sixth in the points table.
A return to BRDC British F3 for 2020 resulted in three wins and becoming championship runner-up, and Maini then switched back to FRegional for 2021 as he competed in the Asian championship and made the podium once.
Last year he finally reached single-seaters’ third tier by racing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship, and he took one podium en route to 14th in the standings. He then felt ready enough to make the jump up to F2.