Maini: Maiden F2 podium “about time”
Rising Indian star Arjun Maini says it’s “about time” he scores his maiden Formula 2 podium after upping the ante in recent races.
Although Maini has been quick in F2 from the very onset, a clutch of issues have prevented him from racing at the sharp end of the grid on a consistent basis.
Engine troubles first popped up in Baku and recurred at Paul Ricard, while botched pitstops robbed him of top-notch results in Bahrain and Britain. Ill-timed safety car appearances have also proved costly, particularly in Monaco and Austria.
Maini feels if all the variables align together he has a shot at standing on an F2 podium, especially given how strong he has been strong receiving a new engine as a replacement for his faulty unit.
“I think outright results, I’m expecting a bit more now because I think it’s about time things start coming together,” Maini told Motorsport.com.
“And looking at our pace, already top five, top seven in qualifying, and with still a lot of areas to improve.
“So I’m confident of improving myself as well. And hopefully the luck factor also comes to my side and we can start putting together some strong results.
“I’m expecting a few podiums to be honest, I’ll be very happy with a win. But I think it’s time. I’ve learnt a lot now. I think I’m at the best I’ve ever been in my career.
“So hopefully I can put somethings together. If everything falls into place, I’m expecting some good results.
Such has been Maini’s plight that he only stands 15th in the championship with 23 points, although still comfortably clear of Trident teammate Santino Ferrucci.
While the 20-year-old admits he has fallen too far behind in the standings to make serious headways in the final five rounds of the season, he is still confident of making his way inside the top-10.
“This year’s championship is tough now because of how far behind we have fallen,” he said. “But as I said I’ll see how best I can recover it. Hopefully I can get up to top eight, top ten. Let’s have a look.
“If you look at the standings it’s quite close from P6 to P7 downwards. Without the issues, we could have been a lot further ahead. But again there are a lots of rounds left so we can recover.
“It’s not that I’m the only one with issues, a lot of drivers are having issues, I think I’ve been having a little bit more than a few.
“So in the end I think it’s also close and all the drivers are good it’s going to be hard. But I’ll try to make up as much as I can till the end.”