Kush Maini gets maiden podium in FIA F3 in Budapest
Budapest, July 31, 2022
Kush Maini, driving the car number 12 donning the Mumbai Falcons livery, drove a very mature and balanced race as he made his way to his first ever podium in FIA Formula 3 in front of a packed crowd that will also see the Formula1 race this weekend.
Showers just before the beginning of the sprint race, which is run over 40 minutes, made sure that the race was declared a wet race and started under the safety car which did two formation laps to give the drivers a chance to understand the tricky track conditions.
The two safety car interventions made sure that Kush fought his way through and found himself in P5.
In the fight for fourth, Maini was a man on a mission in the second MP Motorsport car, diving down the inside of Martins and then setting about putting Hadjar under pressure, while the leading duo began to pull away from the pack.
Hadjar’s overly wide line off on to the run-off at Turn 13 gave Maini a chance to pounce.
The Indian driver had no hesitation in breezing past him at Turn 4 and forcing Hadjar to go on the defensive from fellow Red Bull junior Crawford. It was clear that the Frenchman’s tyres had fallen off their cliff as he slowly started to slip down the order behind Crawford and Leclerc and straight into Martins’ eyeline.
With his heart set on a maiden Formula 3 podium, Maini refused to give up the fight, going side-by-side with Crawford on the penultimate lap as the MP Motorsport driver attempted to break the tow. Thankfully for him, the move paid off and the American driver dropped back, ultimately getting caught out in late drama and coming together with his teammate Leclerc.
“I am extremely happy that finally my pace converted to a podium and I was able to fight my way from P7. Really proud of my team MP to give me a competitive car and gave me the chance to stand on the podium. This definitely gives me confidence going into the race tomorrow and I will give it my best," Maini said.
“I would like to thank Mumbai Falcons, JK Racing and OSM who have stood by me and have made it possible to be taking part in such a globally competitive series," he added.
The feature race will take place on Sunday at 1.35 pm IST with Kush starting P5. The races can be watched live in India on Star Sports Select 2 / HD.