Kush Maini’s Formula 3 debut has been two years in the making, but that doesn’t mean that the MP Motorsport rookie will be putting pressure on himself to catch up.
Apart from a one-race stint in the FIA World Endurance Championship – LMP2, Maini’s only racing experience in 2021 was Asian F3 at the start of the year, while he’d spent the previous season in BRDC British Formula 3, having initially hoped to earn a seat in FIA F3.
Signing with MP for the 2022 season, Maini said that the move had been a “long time in the works.”
“In the last couple of years, I could never get my hands on a drive that I could stick with,” he continued. “I am really happy to have signed with MP Motorsport in advance and to know what I am going to be doing this year. It means that I can give my all and be prepared for it.
“I wanted to race in F3 in 2020, so I have been ready for a while. The wait has just made me hungrier so I can’t wait to get started. The season I had in British F3 in 2020 was a last minute call-up and I had no idea that I was doing it until a week before the championship started.
“I did really well, but then the year after, due to Covid and certain circumstances, we didn’t have the resources to race in a championship that I would have liked to do, like FIA F3, which I feel my skills are good enough to do.”
Finishing second to Hitech Grand Prix’s Kaylen Frederick in BRDC British F3, Maini notched 12 wins and three podiums, but unlike the American, he was unable to find a seat on the Road to F1 and instead spent the season predominantly on the side-lines.
Despite spending a year out, Maini hasn’t felt the need to change his expectations.
“Mentally it has been tough, but I feel like I have come out of it stronger and more mature. I think that I am ready for this step and to have a season in a big championship.
“Everyone asks where I want to finish and what I expect, but I just expect myself to do my best every day and to put in the work so that in 10 years, I won’t feel like I missed an opportunity and regret it. As long as I do my job and know that I did the best that I could, I don't care where I finish.”
The 21-year-old isn’t the first Maini to compete on the Road to F1, with his older brother, Arjun, having previously raced in GP3 and Formula 2. The 24-year-old last raced in F2 in 2019.
Asked whether he had spoken to his brother before signing with MP, Kush replied: “Of course! We had a couple of chats, although he is super busy with Mercedes. Many people here still remember my brother, so hopefully, I can follow in his footsteps and make it into F2, and after that, who knows?”