Virtuosi Racing has named F1 juniors Kush Maini and Gabriel Bortoleto in an all-new line-up for the 2024 FIA F2 season.

Reigning FIA Formula 3 champion Gabriel Bortoleto arrives at the team off the back of an incredible season. The 19-year-old rookie secured two wins, six podiums, and one pole position, taking points in 15 of the 18 F3 races in 2023 on his way to the title. By the final chequered flag, the Brazilian was in possession of a 45-point lead over the second-place finisher.

Since graduating from karting, Gabriel has won races in the Formula Regional Asian Championship, the Formula Regional European Championship, and the Italian Formula 4 Championship, in addition to his F3 title. Gabriel Bortoleto will be joined at Invicta Virtuosi Racing by Kush Maini.

Maini joins the British squad for his second season in Formula 2, having made his debut in 2023 with Campos Racing. The Alpine Academy driver has been racing cars since 2016, competing in eight different categories to date, including BRDC British F3, where he finished as Vice-Champion in 2020. Maini was also a podium-sitter in FIA Formula 3 and has gained experience outside of single-seaters in the FIA World Endurance Championship.

The 23-year-old achieved 12 points finishes in his rookie season in F2, including an eye-catching podium during the championship’s first trip to Melbourne. Kush is mentored by two-time Formula 1 World Champion Mika Häkkinen and will be targeting further silverware in his sophomore season as he continues his development in the second tier.

Invicta Virtuosi Racing’s new-look lineup will be the team’s first pairing to compete in the next-generation Formula 2 cars, which were unveiled on August 31 in Monza, Italy, ahead of the 2024 season. The 2024 FIA Formula 2 Championship kicks off at the Bahrain International Circuit on February 29 and will see the grid compete at 14 different circuits, including a first-ever trip to Qatar.

Kush Maini: “I’m super excited and grateful to be joining Invicta Virtuosi Racing for the 2024 FIA Formula 2 championship. They have a great pedigree in Formula 2 and, prior to that, in GP2, and I am looking forward to growing further as a racing driver with the team.

“A massive thank you to Invicta Virtuosi for putting their trust in me, and to the Alpine Academy and my management team for their support. I’ll do my best to hopefully bring many trophies back to the workshop.”

Gabriel Bortoleto: “I am very excited to announce that in the 2024 season, I will be competing with Invicta Virtuosi Racing in FIA Formula 2. They have a winning history, having secured the runner-up position in the Teams’ Championship three times, and together, our goal will be to aim for the best positions for the team. In 2023, they achieved pole positions and victories, and I hope to build a strong and consistent story with them throughout the year.

“We will have a new car in the championship, and our first challenge will be to adapt quickly and efficiently to start the year on a high note. I am coming from a season of significant personal growth, culminating in the FIA F3 title. I hope to continue this process of evolution as a driver in 2024 and naturally become a victorious driver in the next stages of my career.”

Andy Roche: “We’re delighted to have Gabriel Bortoleto joining us for his debut season in Formula 2. His consistency throughout his rookie campaign in Formula 3 impressed everyone and earned him a convincing and thoroughly deserved championship victory. This was acknowledged by the world of F1 as he became a McLaren Development Driver.

“Gabriel has visited us at our base in Norfolk and kept in touch since his signing. He’s left a good impression on everyone here and has quickly become part of the team. We were impressed by his adaptation to Formula 3 and, like everyone, are excited to see what he can do in 2024 as he continues to hone and add to his already admirable skillset.

“Kush has had a solid debut season in Formula 2. He got up to speed immediately and was able to produce good results in 2023. We’ve already spent considerable time with Kush since he first signed for the team and his mentality and approach align well with ours.

“He has shown dedication and an impressive work effort, and we look forward to helping him add to his F2 podium tally as he continues to improve as a racing driver. He joins Gabriel Bortoleto at the team for 2024, and we are expecting to achieve big things with such a strong duo at the wheel.”

2023 F2 line-up so far:

MP Motorsport – Franco Colapinto, Dennis Hauger

Prema – Andrea Kimi Antonelli

ART Grand Prix – Zak O’Sullivan

PHM Racing – Joshua Duerksen

Virtuosi Racing – Kush Maini, Gabriel Bortoleto

Unknown – Ritomo Miyata

[Note: The story is as per press release]