Bajan sensation Maloney secures maiden F2 win; hunts another in Saturday's feature

By Sports Desk March 02, 2024
MALONEY...The goal is to win (on Saturday) for sure. MALONEY...The goal is to win (on Saturday) for sure.

Sauber Academy Driver Zane Maloney, of Barbados, completed a fine performance from eighth on the grid to take his maiden Formula 2 victory in Friday’s Bahrain Sprint for the Rodin Motorsport team.

Reverse grid polesitter Jake Crawford held onto a podium finish in second for DAMS, and rookie driver and Red Bull Junior Josep María Marti, took a fine third for Campos Racing.

The 20-year-old Maloney, sped from eighth to first within eight laps, and comfortably controlled the pace from there to register his maiden win in the 23-lap race around the Bahrain International Circuit. He passed the finish line with a plus-five-second advantage over Crawford, while Martí finished a second and a half further back, as he converted an 11th-place starting spot into a podium finish.

“Of course, I’m very happy to win the race, we started in P8 (position eight), got a great start and the team just gave me an amazing car, so it is all down to them, and we will go for it (on Saturday) in the feature race,” Maloney said after the race.

“It was an amazing race. Of course, it started with a great start and then a good first two laps. I always put my car in the right place, which was good. After that, to be honest, I was happy to settle in my position and try to save the tyres a bit.

“While saving the tyres, I was still keeping up so then I decided to just go for it, get in the lead and think about the tyres after that which I did. It worked out very well. The team gave me a great car so that is the reason," he added.

Formula 2 is the second tier to Formula 1 racing organised by the FIA, motorsport’s world governing body, and held on select circuits on the Grand Prix schedule. The Formula 2 feature race is scheduled for Saturday and Maloney is buzzing with excitement, as he will start third on the grid.

“I mean that’s always the goal; I didn’t think I would win, but the plan was to try and win (on Saturday). Every day is different so we just need to look at the data and see what we can still do better, try to improve. For sure starting third, I need to have a good start again and go into the race how I did (on Friday). The goal is to win (on Saturday) for sure," Maloney declared.

“I came out of Turn 11 on the inside, and I wasn’t really looking for it, but then I saw it was on and I had to go for it,” he said about his move to get past Fittipaldi and into the top three. I know Enzo is a very respectful driver, so I knew he was a hard racer, but he is not just going to force me off the track, which is why I tried for it. I mean it was on the edge, but it was great," he ended.

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