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Qualifying report

F2 Bahrain: Maini heads Invicta 1-2 in qualifying

Alpine academy driver Kush Maini will start the Formula 2 feature race from pole position after topping qualifying in Bahrain.

Kush Maini, Invicta Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Maini saw off Invicta Racing team-mate Gabriel Bortoleto by 1m48.814s to score the first two points of the F2 season.

In the end, pole position was secured by what on paper looked like a relatively comfortable margin of 0.219s, but this was far from the case with the order shuffling considerably as each driver crossed the line.

Taylor Barnard was one of the few drivers that was able to keep his tyres in the window for two laps, and improved in the final moments to secure 10th and pole position for the season-opening reverse-grid sprint on Friday.

Jak Crawford narrowly avoided being the first driver to cause a red flag in a qualifying session this season after suffering a spin at Turn 2 on his first flying lap. Spinning the rears up while, the American was unable to catch the rear of his car but crucially kept the engine going.

Following his continuation, the stewards began an investigation into his rejoin, believing it was potentially unsafe.

Maini set the early pace with a 1m42.533s from Dennis Hauger (MP Motorsport), with the former seemingly coming out of nowhere after being only 12th in practice.

Isack Hadjar, Campos Racing

Isack Hadjar, Campos Racing

Photo by: Formula Motorsport Ltd

Isack Hadjar and Pepe Marti went against the grain with their qualifying strategy, with the Campos Racing drivers both setting out on their first runs during the gap between the stints of the other 20 drivers.

This yielded immediate results as the pair flew to the top of the order – Hadjar leading the way with a 1m42.418s despite a relatively scruffy effort that included a lock-up. Marti registered the second-best time, just 0.021s back from his team-mate.

As darkness began to fall, the field exited the pits one final time. The timing screen lit up with a flood of green and purple sectors with most every driver improving.

Enzo Fitipaldi crossed the line first to move up to the top but Zane Maloney, Hauger and Ritomo Miyata were quick to push him back, with Zak O’Sullivan also forcing back the Van Amersfoort Racing entry.

But last to cross the line were Maini, Bortoleto and Hadjar, with the trio positioning themselves in that order at the top of the table.

In the initial runs, the tyres proved strong enough to last for just one hot lap and try as Maloney might, he was unable to improve his effort the second time around. While first sector splits showed as green, the middle sector saw drop offs of around half a second.

Bucking the trend was Barnard in the PHM AIX Racing entry, with a last-gasp effort that put him up to 10th, and reverse grid pole sprint race.

F2 Bahrain - Qualifying results

Cla Driver # Laps Time Interval km/h
1 India K. Maini Invicta Racing 9 10


G. Bortoleto Invicta Racing
10 10



0.219 191.171
3 France I. Hadjar Campos Racing 20 8



0.023 191.127
4 Barbados Z. Maloney Rodin Motorsport 5 12



0.044 191.045
5 Norway D. Hauger MP Motorsport 11 12



0.008 191.030
6 Japan R. Miyata Rodin Motorsport 6 12



0.013 191.006
7 United Kingdom Z. O'Sullivan ART Grand Prix 2 11



0.011 190.985
8 Brazil E. Fittipaldi Van Amersfoort Racing 14 12



0.056 190.880
9 France V. Martins ART Grand Prix 1 11



0.088 190.716
T. Barnard PHM AIX Racing
25 11



0.049 190.624
11 United States J. Crawford DAMS Lucas Oil 7 11



0.080 190.475
P. Martí Campos Racing
21 8



0.046 190.390
P. Aron Hitech Pulse-Eight
17 11



0.007 190.377
14 United States J. Correa DAMS Lucas Oil 8 12



0.029 190.323
15 Mexico R. Villagomez Van Amersfoort Racing 15 12



0.023 190.280
16 Argentina F. Colapinto MP Motorsport 12 12



0.000 190.280
17 Netherlands R. Verschoor Trident 22 10



0.252 189.813
A. Kimi Prema Powerteam
4 11



0.049 189.722
19 United Kingdom O. Bearman Prema Powerteam 3 11



0.017 189.691
20 Belgium A. Cordeel Hitech Pulse-Eight 16 11



0.235 189.258
21 Czech Republic R. Staněk Trident 23 10



0.123 189.032
J. Duerksen PHM AIX Racing
24 11



0.085 188.876

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