Kush Maini, Invicta, Formula 2, Bahrain International Circuit, 2024

Maini heads Invicta one-two as Prema’s Antonelli and Bearman struggle

Formula 2

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Kush Maini secured the first pole position of the newest era of Formula 2 in Bahrain ahead of his Invicta team mate Gabriel Bortoleto.

The Alpine academy driver secured his first F2 feature race pole of his career, becoming the first pole winner with the series’ new F2 2024 chassis.

Maini set his pole-winning time of a 1’41.696 with several minutes to spare with team mate Bortoleto coming closest, over two tenths slower, making the reigning Formula 3 champion the highest-placed debutante in the field. Red Bull junior Isack Hadjar took third on the grid for Saturday’s sprint race, ahead of two of his former stablemates: Zane Maloney in fourth and Dennis Hauger fifth.

Ritomo Miyata will start from sixth position in his first F2 feature race, one place ahead of Williams junior Zak O’Sullivan in seventh. Enzo Fittipaldi secured eighth on the feature race grid ahead of ART’s Victor Martins.

Taylor Barnard will start his first F2 race from pole position. He secured reverse-grid pole position for tomorrow’s sprint race having jumped up to tenth at the chequered flag.

However, it was a deeply disappointing start to the championship for the Prema team and their highly-touted driver line-up of Ferrari junior Oliver Bearman and 17-year-old Mercedes driver Andrea Kimi Antonelli. While Antonelli out-qualified his more experienced team mate at the first attempt, the two Premas qualified down in 18th and 19th on the grid for both races.

It was a session without incident, although Jak Crawford came to a halt on the run down to turn ten after the chequered flag. With Barnard starting Saturday’s sprint race from pole, he will be joined by Martins on the front row of the grid.

Update: Maini stripped of F2 pole position, Bortoleto inherits first on grid

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Formula 2 Bahrain qualifying results

19Kush MainiInvicta
210Gabriel BortoletoInvicta
320Isack HadjarCampos
45Zane MaloneyRodin
511Dennis HaugerMP Motorsport
66Ritomo MiyataRodin
72Zak O’SullivanART
814Enzo FittipaldiVan Amersfoort
91Victor MartinsART
1025Taylor BarnardPHM
117Jak CrawfordDAMS
1221Josep Maria MartiCampos
1317Paul AronHitech
148Juan Manuel CorreaDAMS
1515Rafael VillagomezVan Amersfoort
1612Franco ColapintoMP Motorsport
1722Richard VerschoorTrident
184Andrea Kimi AntonelliPrema
193Oliver BearmanPrema
2016Amaury CordeelHitech
2123Roman StanekTrident
2224Joshua DuerksenPHM

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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4 comments on “Maini heads Invicta one-two as Prema’s Antonelli and Bearman struggle”

  1. Even though Miyata already has a decent single-seater experience, not to mention on a professional level, unlike Antonelli in comparison, I still didn’t expect him to qualify as high as 6th, so a positive surprise & start for a series rookie.

  2. What’s impressive is how good this brand new team Invicta has proven to be. It’s also cool that KM is being tutored by Mika Hakkinen.

    1. Invicta aren’t really a new team as such I believe, it’s more of a rebrand of the Virtuosi team that has been racing in F2 for quite a few years now under different monikers. Not to take anything away from the performance though, a front row lockout in F2 is still a superb and rare result!

  3. Don’t forget, it’s a Friday sprint race this week :)

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