Kush Maini takes points at FIA F2 final event in Abu Dhabi

The Indian racer, who put himself in pole position contention in qualifying, brought a ninth-place finish during Sunday’s feature race. Boschung put in a recovery drive in the final race of the season

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The 2023 FIA Formula 2 Championship season came to a finish at Yas Marina Circuit this weekend and Campos Racing secured more points thanks to Kush Maini. The Indian completed a strong performance in qualifying, a valuable first step on his way to finish in the top-ten on Sunday. Swiss Ralph Boschung couldn’t convert his previous pace in a strong qualifying result and starting as a mid-fielder dashed his chances in both races.

Friday saw a positive start coming from Boschung and Maini in the single free practice session. Boschung clocked a lap time of 1m37.873s to take 6th in the timesheets with Maini posting the 10th-fastest lap time with his lap of 1m38.054s. Later in qualifying, Maini proved to be in pole position contention from his very first flying lap. The Indian pilot scored a lap of 1m36.442s to put his Campos Racing-run Dallara in third place provisionally. But Maini found extra pace in the closing moments of the qualifying session and lowered to 1m35.976s to secure 3rd on the grid for Sunday. Boschung’s best effort was a lap of 1m36.503s and set to start from 16th in both races.

Saturday’s sprint race consisted of 23 laps with Maini starting from 8th on the reverse grid. The safety car was deployed when Juan Manuel Correa spun out at Turn 3 and Maini was still running in 8th place when the race was back in green conditions in lap 5. Maini remained in the top-ten for most of the race but he struggled with tire degradation in the closing stages of the race. Finally, he dropped to 11th at the checkered flag. Boschung got involved in lively battles costing valuable times and finally crossed the finish line in 18th.

Sunday’s race brought new opportunities with 33 laps ahead including a mandatory pit stop. Maini and Boschung chose to start on the soft tire to maximize their chances in the first laps. When the lights went out, Maini moved up to second after overtaking Victor Martins. Maini set a strong pace and consistently ran in second place until his mandatory pit stop in lap seven. Boschung also made an early pit stop for the medium compound. Tire wear management was the key factor with 26 laps to go. Maini had excellent fights with title contenders Théo Pourchaire and Frederik Vesti among others. At the end, Maini crossed the finish line in ninth place. Boschung finished 15th place.

Maini finally took 11th place in the drivers’ standings on 62 points with Boschung finishing in 16th with 37 points to his name. Campos Racing has finished ninth in the teams’ standings on 99 points.

The 2023 season has just finished but the 2024 campaign has just begun as the Yas Marina Circuit will host the collective post-season testing on 29 November-1 December. Campos Racing will announce their driver line-up in due time.