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F1 champion Mika Hakkinen to mentor rising F2 star Maini

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The Finn is throwing his weight behind Maini, and says the goal could be very clear: “F1 is our goal”.

Hakkinen’s observe file on this division is robust, having performed a big function within the improvement of former Mercedes F1 race winner and present Alfa Romeo Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas.

Within the present F1 area Mark Webber performs an identical function with Oscar Piastri, who has damaged via within the second half of the season with podiums and a dash race win to his credit score.

Having an skilled F1 race winner in your nook means a younger driver can deal with the necessities over a race weekend, learn to win bragging rights inside a crew and optimise communications. And it may possibly present highly effective enterprise leverage, connecting with sponsors.

Maini was a prime 4 contender within the first half of the F2 season with Campos Racing, however his outcomes have tailed off within the second half. Nevertheless with Hakkinen making use of his mentoring and administration methods and processes, Maini believes that he can problem on the entrance in 2024.

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“I feel from subsequent 12 months, my strategy and that of my crew goes to be much more structured because of Mika, “ says Maini. “Having a coach who’s taking care of your diet on the observe, a thoughts coach taking care of something you are going via on a race weekend. Mainly the best way Mika works is you slender down all the pieces to the purpose the place the motive force simply has one job.”

Maini, 23, from Bangalore, is the youthful brother of Arjun Maini, who raced two seasons in F2 and was briefly a improvement driver for Haas F1 team. The youthful Maini completed runner up within the 2020 British F3 Championship, a collection Hakkinen himself gained again in 1990.

“I’ve watched Mika since I used to be younger. And I do know all the pieces he has achieved on this sport,” says Maini. “So only for him to imagine that I may attain Components One reveals that we have performed one thing proper in these final 15 years. It’s a large weapon you’ve gotten in your arsenal when you’ve gotten Mika Hakkinen standing behind you!”

Kush Maini, Campos Racing celebrates with the trophy on the rostrum.

Photograph by: Lionel Ng / Motorsport Images

“I’ve quite a lot of expertise from working with Valtteri Bottas seeing him growing and rising as a driver,” says Hakkinen.  “Extra not too long ago I’ve been following Kush, understanding his talents, his expertise for driving. It’s a really fascinating journey collectively to develop, to be an much more skilled racing driver. F1 is our goal, not forgetting the present scenario (in F2).

Hakkinen won’t be a blow-by-blow driver coach, educating Maini cornering methods: “I do not suppose I’ve to place my nostril into that”.

However he’ll lend his huge expertise of the lifetime of a prime driver; managing time, speaking with a crew and above all Hakkinen will do what former McLaren boss Ron Dennis did for him, which is to make it possible for all the pieces round him in his life is taken care of so he simply has to deal with one job, which is driving and profitable.

The everyday administration of Maini can be dealt with by Guillaume le Goff, who additionally takes care of Alpine F1 driver Pierre Gasly.

Hakkinen defines his function as leveraging the instruments of “communication and the community that I’ve. These belongings are very highly effective when taking care of a younger gifted driver. I have been an envoy for Components One and been a part of F1 since 1991. It is an asset, the facility that I’ve to take this younger driver into the fitting locations on the proper time.

“After all, India is a gigantic, highly effective nation. I’m a part of bringing a younger driver from India to Components One, bringing these mega firms, studying to grasp the alternatives that Components One can deliver them. And vice versa, after all, what Components One can expertise and create with India. I can solely see stunning success tales.

“India goes to be very highly effective. And I would like all Indians to know Kush Maini, I would like everyone in India cheering him. I would like them to really feel that he will be a winner in Components One. After all it requires very onerous work and quite a lot of sacrifices.

“Due to my expertise on this motor racing world, I do perceive (the significance of) timing, being in the fitting crew, having the fitting companions, working with the fitting folks is essential.”

Hakkinen says that different bulletins about Maini’s subsequent steps will comply with shortly. Though this F2 season shouldn’t be but over, Maini is already getting ready for subsequent 12 months, “Having Mika behind me, my entire crew being created now and never having to emphasize about racing, I feel it is a very thrilling time for myself, and I undoubtedly really feel I have not confirmed wherever close to what I’m able to within the automotive, “ he says. “I’m very excited to hopefully present it subsequent 12 months.”

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