Home Featured Maini says he didn’t maximise F2 qualifying after missing pole by 0.025s

Maini says he didn’t maximise F2 qualifying after missing pole by 0.025s

by Ida Wood

Photo: Dutch Photo Agency

Kush Maini came just 0.025 seconds short of Formula 2 pole in Jeddah, and had plenty to rue on his last two qualifying laps.

The Invicta Racing driver was fastest by 0.219s in the first qualifying session of the season at Bahrain last week, but got disqualified from the results due to a measurement infringement with the underside of his car. That meant he had to start both races from the back of the 22-car grid, and he recovered to 13th and seventh in the two contests.

Maini began round two in Jeddah as the second fastest driver, 0.103s off top spot in practice on Thursday. Qualifying took place later in the day and Maini secured a front row spot with the first lap of his second run, but did not improve on his second lap which featured a lock-up at the final corner.

“The first lap on the second set, I don’t feel like I maximised it. In the second lap I feel like I did, but I just ran out of tyres at the end,” said Maini afterwards. “I think I could have challenged a bit harder [for pole] if I put it together in my first lap.”

He added: “Even if I nailed that last corner on the second lap, I wasn’t getting Ollie. I had to do it in the first lap, and unfortunately he did a better job.”

The combination of Maini’s best sector times would have led to him outqualifying Ollie Bearman, since all of the Prema driver’s best sector times came on his pole lap.

While Maini was “happy with the front row” position, he jokingly pointed out that “hopefully I keep it” given what happened the week before.

“Bahrain was mentally tough for me. A bit of a roller-coaster. But I feel like I’ve already reset, and a good way to start this weekend. Today we had a good day, we were quick throughout the day and we’re there fighting in the front, and I see you [media] guys a lot in qualifying, but I hope I see you in the races as well. Looking forward to the races.”