Kush Maini secures Invicta Racing 1-2 to open 2024 FIA F2 season in qualifying in Bahrain, with Dino Beganovic taking pole in F3.


Kush Maini scored his maiden pole position in FIA Formula 2 as he beat out teammate Gabriel Bortoleto to seal a P1 start for Saturday’s Feature Race. On his final attempt in Qualifying, Maini completed a lap of 1:41.696 to go to the top of the timesheets. Bortoleto followed his teammate across the line to place second, two-tenths off the pole-winning effort.

Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar completed a lap good enough for third having led the way earlier in the session. It was Maini who set the early pace for Invicta Racing aided by a strong middle sector, he completed a lap of 1:42.533 to lead Hauger by just 0.045s. With 10 minutes gone, the drivers returned to the pitlane for some fresher tyres.

However, that was when Campos elected to send Hadjar and Josep María Martí out on track for the first time in the session. Hadjar then went to the top of the timesheets with a lap of 1:42.418, with Martí behind him across the line going to second, 0.021s off the Frenchman’s benchmark effort.

The rest of the field then emerged from the pit lane ahead of their final runs with Maloney going fastest. But the Bajan’s time was quickly eclipsed by the Invicta pair of Maini and Bortoleto, with Hadjar then going to third. Maloney, and a number of other drivers including ART Grands Prix’s Victor Martins, made their second attempts at the top spot, but with the Pirelli rubber not offering more than one push lap on the abrasive Bahrain tarmac, no driver could eclipse Maini’s time.

With Invicta locking out the front row and Hadjar following in third, Zane Maloney and Dennis Hauger rounded out the top five for Rodin Motorsport and MP Motorsport respectively. Rookies Ritomo Miyata and Zak O’ Sullivan followed for Rodin and ART Grand Prix, while Enzo Fittipaldi placed eighth for Van Amersfoort Racing. Victor Martins qualified ninth for ART, with Taylor Barnard set to line up on pole for Friday’s Sprint Race after qualifying 10th for PHM AIX Racing.

Results: https://x.com/MsportXtra/status/1763209245007220980?s=20

UPDATE: Kush Maini has been disqualified from the final Qualifying classification after his Invicta Racing car was found to be in breach of the Technical Regulations. Following a post-session inspection, the Stewards found that the height of the left undertray front external strake of car #9 was below the required minimum height and therefore not in line with Article 3.4.1 of the 2024 FIA F2 Championship Technical Regulations.

As a consequence, all of Maini’s times set during the Qualifying session have been removed. The Indian driver, who had originally set the fastest laptime of the session, will start Saturday’s Sprint Race and Sunday’s Feature Race from the back of the grid. This promotes Maini’s Invicta Racing teammate Gabriel Bortoleto to pole position. Campos Racing’s Isack Hadjar will now line up alongside the Brazilian on the front row. Jak Crawford of DAMS Lucas Oil is now set to start the Sprint Race from reverse grid pole after moving up one position to 10th in the final classification.

Here’s full details: https://www.fia.com/sites/default/files/decision-document/2024%20Sakhir%20Event%20-%20INFRINGEMENT%20-%20Car%209%20-%20technical%20non%20conformity.pdf


Dino Beganovic claimed pole position for PREMA Racing, setting a 1:46.431 to take the first P1 of the season. The Swede left it until the final moments to leap up the times, pipping Hitech Pulse-Eight’s Luke Browning and teammate Gabriele Minì, who wound up second and third. After several warm-up laps, Max Esterson hit the front for Jenzer Motorsport, setting a 1:47.573 to lead early on, 0.047s ahead of Trident’s Leonardo Fornaroli.

Sami Meguetounif followed in P3 as everyone returned to the pitlane halfway through the session. The action resumed once again as the field returned to the track with 17 minutes to go. Mari Boya was next to go quickest overall, setting a 1:47.307 though that was quickly beaten. Fornaroli returned to the top of the timing screens on a 1:47.141. Beganovic went close for PREMA, moving himself up to second 0.060s down on the Italian’s effort.

Meguetounif again leapt up the order to third, with Gabriele Minì getting his first time on the board to go fourth ahead of Boya. Once again, the field boxed for the final time and were back out for the final flying laps with six minutes remaining. With less than a minute to go, green and purple sectors began to fly and Christian Mansell put ART Grand Prix to the top with a 1:46.843 for the rest to beat.

Beganovic managed to edge out Browning for provisional pole with Minì ending up third-quickest behind his PREMA Racing teammate and the Briton. Meguetounif wound up fourth in the end as the highest-placed Trident driver, ahead of teammates Santiago Ramos and Fornaroli.

Tim Tramnitz was seventh-fastest for MP Motorsport ahead of Mansell, Arvid Lindblad and Esterson. Nikola Tsolov followed in P11 and rounding out the top 12 to earn reverse grid pole for the Sprint Race was Laurens van Hoepen.

Results: https://x.com/MsportXtra/status/1763195653834883359?s=20

[Note: The story is as per press release]