Home Featured Maini “wanting more” after ‘fun battle’ to ‘prove people wrong’ with first F2 podium

Maini “wanting more” after ‘fun battle’ to ‘prove people wrong’ with first F2 podium

by Alejandro Alonso Lopez

Photo: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Kush Maini fended off Arthur Leclerc in a fierce battle at Albert Park to claim his maiden Formula 2 podium with third place in the sprint race.

The Campos Racing driver was not overly impressed with his achievement, pointing out post-race it was “not really” an emotional moment. The competitiveness of Campos this year is well known, as team-mate Ralph Boschung leads the points.

“I feel all year we’ve had the pace,” said Maini. “[We have been] in the top eight every qualifying and knocking on the door of the podium on both weekends prior to this.

“Coming into this, it was just do the same thing as the first two weekends and it was bound to come together at some point. So [I am] happy to get it off my back, now that I finally got my first podium. But definitely wanting more in the future.”

Right after jumping out of the car, the Indian explained his fight with Leclerc that eventually earned him a podium finish.

“He lunged me, a really good move by him,” he said about Leclers’s pass down his inside at Turn 11 on lap seven of 22. Despite Leclerc still using DRS once ahead, Maini benefited from the tow and claimed the place back with by braking deep into Turn 13.

“I knew as soon as I went out the corner he was on the softs and he had good pace and I knew that might be my only chance so I kind of went to the left and as soon as he crept to the left I sent it down the inside and it stuck. It was a great feeling.”

On lap 10, Leclerc attempted another overtake at the same corner as before, but Maini denied him by keeping the inside line.

“I was expecting there to be like a train. But the tow down that back section was just crazy. There was a lot of looking in your mirrors, a lot of positioning the car, so you don’t give the car behind enough space to squeeze through,” said Maini.

“It was fun to battle with him, and I think tomorrow’s feature race I’m going to expect something completely different. It’s really fun.”

Maini will start the feature race from eighth on the grid, with Leclerc one spot ahead of him.

The Indian also spoke about his strong start to the season as he sits seventh in the standings with 24 points after five races.

“Campos’s pace I think has always been there. It’s just a matter of things coming together. And to the start of this year, they kind of have.

“In terms of did I expect this? Yes, 100%. If I didn’t think I could fight in the front, I wouldn’t waste my time being here. I definitely believed I could fight at the front. So I’m happy to prove many people wrong. Yeah, I expected it,” he concluded.