Alpine expand their F1 junior ranks by adding F2 racer Maini

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Alpine will have three juniors racing in Formula 2 later this year as Kush Maini has joined their academy.

The 23-year-old Indian started his rookie F2 campaign strongly, and made the podium on his fifth start, but his points-scoring form has declined since and he has fallen from fourth to 11th in the standings.

There is one round of the season left to go in Abu Dhabi, and Maini will be racing against fellow Alpine juniors Jack Doohan – who will be driving for the team in Formula 1 practice that weekend – and Victor Martins.

Maini’s car racing career has generally seen him become more competitive with each step up he makes, having only got three podiums from two seasons in the Italian Formula 4 championship, but then taking four wins from two BRDC British Formula 3 campaigns (and being championship runner-up in his sophomore season) and since then having made the podium in the even higher quality fields of the FIA F3 Championship and F2.

“I am super excited to be joining the Alpine Academy,” said Maini.

“It’s a dream come true to be associated with a team like Alpine, where I can learn and grow to hopefully one day be ready to take the step into F1. A massive thank you to Alpine for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.”

Maini’s Alpine deal is set to cover 2024 as well as the end of this year, and he brings the Alpine Academy membership up to nine drivers. In addition to the F2 trio, there are Gabriele Mini, Sophia Floersch and Nikola Tsolov in FIA F3, Matheus Ferreira and Abbi Pulling in F4 and karter Kean Nakamura Berta.

“We are happy to welcome Kush into the Alpine Academy. He is a young talent who we believe has strong potential and will be a great asset to our driver development programme,” said Julian Rouse, interim sporting director of the Alpine F1 team.

“The Alpine Academy will enter its ninth year in 2024 and currently features nine drivers of eight nationalities, spanning four different series from FIA F2 through to European Karting. The continual expansion of the Academy’s talent pool runs in parallel to the expansion of our facilities at Enstone with the development of our new state-of-the-art training and testing facilities.”

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Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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3 comments on “Alpine expand their F1 junior ranks by adding F2 racer Maini”

  1. wonder if they’ve learned to take care of little details like contracts yet or if they’re still counting on wishes and fairy dust.

  2. Why? Too old to debut in F1, never won anything, doesn’t look like he ever will.

    Heck, I’ve won more races than him this year.

    1. Probably (I say probably, but certainly seems more apt) because of some Indian sponsors. They take some money, help him a bit with his F2 career, probably give him one practise session in F1 as part of the deal and that’s it. I’m more astonished that some company would actually pay for that, coming from a country dominated by extreme poverty. Why would anyone care if he gets to drive an F1 car in practise session for 30 mins or so? Well, not my problem…

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