Alpine’s Formula 1 team have bolstered its junior ranks after confirming that Formula 2 racer Kush Maini will be joining the side’s driver academy.
Maini is encountering his maiden campaign in the second-tier series with Campos Racing, scoring a third-place finish in the Australia Sprint race in the third round.
But having been a regular points scorer earlier in the season, the Indian has only added three further points finishes across the past 14 races.
Consequently, Maini has since slipped to 11th in the Drivers’ Championship with 60 points to his name.
It was announced last week that Maini, younger brother of ex-Haas development driver Arjun Maini, will be mentored by two-time F1 champion Mika Hakkinen
Now, with one round remaining in the F2 championship at the end of November in Abu Dhabi, Alpine have confirmed that Maini will be part of its driver development programme.
The 23-year-old will accompany fellow Alpine-backed drivers Jack Doohan and Victor Martins in F2’s season finale at the Yas Marina Circuit.
Doohan is scheduled to drive for the Anglo-French outfit in FP1 at this weekend’s Mexico Grand Prix while combining his F2 duties with another F1 outing in Abu Dhabi.
Maini has already asserted that his target is to mount a title challenge through a second season in the F2 category next year, which is also set to be supported by Alpine.
His addition means the Enstone squad currently has nine drivers in its academy set-up. Aside from three drivers in F2, Alpine also has a trio in F3 consisting of Gabriele Mini, Sophia Floersch and Nikola Tsolov, alongside Matheus Ferreira and Abbi Pulling in F4, and young karter Kean Nakamura Berta.
“I am super excited to be joining the Alpine Academy,” Maini expressed.
“It’s a dream come true to be associated with a team like Alpine, where I can learn and grow to hopefully one day be ready to take the step into F1. A massive thank you to Alpine for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.”
Julian Rouse, interim Sporting Director of the Alpine F1 team added: “We are happy to welcome Kush into the Alpine Academy. He is a young talent who we believe has strong potential and will be a great asset to our driver development programme.
“The Alpine Academy will enter its ninth year in 2024 and currently features nine drivers of eight nationalities, spanning four different series from FIA F2 through to European Karting. The continual expansion of the Academy’s talent pool runs in parallel to the expansion of our facilities at Enstone with the development of our new state-of-the-art training and testing facilities.”