Kush Maini’s F1 dreams got a massive boost as the young Indian racer will be mentored by two-time world champion Mika Hakkinen.
In the past, Hakkinen played a significant role in the development of former Mercedes F1 race winner and current Alfa Romeo Sauber driver Valtteri Bottas.
Maini, a 23-year-old from Bengaluru, has had a fine year with several top 5 positions in Qualifying and a Podium in Melbourne.
Now, Maini is looking to mount a more serious challenge in 2024 under the guidance of Hakkinen.
“I think from next year, my approach and that of my team is going to be a lot more structured thanks to Mika.
“Basically, the way Mika works is you narrow down everything to the point where the driver just has one job,” said Maini in a media release.
Maini, the younger brother of ace racer Arjun Maini, has raced in F2 and was a development driver for Haas F1 team. He currently drives for Mercedes AMG in Europe.
The younger Maini had finished runner-up in the 2020 British F3 Championship, a series Hakkinen himself won back in 1990.
“I’ve watched Mika since I was very young. So, just for him to believe that I could reach Formula One shows that we’ve done something right in these last 15 years.
“It’s a massive weapon you have in your arsenal when you have Mika Hakkinen standing behind you,” said Maini.
Talking about Maini’s prospects of making it to F1, Hakkinen said: “I’ve been following Kush, understanding his abilities, his talent for driving. It’s a very interesting journey together to develop, to be an even more of a professional racing driver. F1 is our objective, not forgetting the current situation (in F2).”
Additionally, Guillaume le Goff will be Kush’s manager taking care of all his requirements.