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Zane Maloney focused on ‘winning races’ as F2 resumes this weekend

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The two-month break is over, and Barbadian race car driver Zane Maloney returns to the track for the fourth round of the Formula 2 Grand Prix racing on Friday.

The 20-year-old will be among the drivers and the teams that descend on the Autodromo Internazionale Enzo e Dino Ferrari in the northern Italian city of Imola to renew their rivalry for the championship.

Maloney tops the drivers’ standings on 62 points and holds a 15-point lead over Hi-Tech Pulse Eight driver Paul Aron of Estonia. This weekend of racing is one of seven coming in the next three months and making up half of the total races for the season, but the Caribbean man is playing it cool for now.

“I’m not focused on the championship,” he said. “I’m not focused on staying consistently in the top five- that doesn’t get you into Formula 1.

“Winning races gets you into F1, so my dream is F1 and to do that, I need to show what I’m about and win as many races and be on pole for as many races as possible. That’s really the goal for me.”

Rodin Motorsport, the team for whom Maloney drives, also leads the constructors’ championship on 78 points, and they are 18 points clear of nearest rivals, Campos Racing, which features fourth-placed driver Isack Hadjar of France and his teammate Josep Maria Martí of Spain.

Zane Maloney soaks in the moment on the podium at the Bahrain GP

Drive fast

“The main way to achieve the level of consistency required is to just drive the car as fast as I can,” Maloney added. “The more you complicate it, the harder it gets. The more you simplify it while looking at all the details the more you perform well.

“My job is just to drive as fast as I can in every single session. It’s very easy to come to a race

weekend, be a bit off in practice, and then that’s the race weekend ruined in terms of finding that time again, that pace into qualifying.

“So, the most important thing in F2 is to be on top of everything in practice as a team, as a driver, and that sets you into a good qualifying.”

Maloney started the season with a double win in the sprint and features races in the season-opening Bahrain Grand Prix in March, and he was third in the feature race in the Australian Grand Prix in the same month.

He said he entered the season without great expectations, but there was still room for improvement after every race.

“We have been doing a very good job so far, but there are still many times this season, even in Bahrain, where a certain lap in qualifying – when I qualified in P3 (position three), that lap wasn’t good from my side, and I knew that and tried to improve on that for the next time,” he said. “It’s a very stacked grid. There are lots of great drivers on the F2 grid this year and it’s tough. It’s going to be tough moving on for the rest of the year as well, and I’m just trying to improve every day really.”

F2 is the second tier to the F1 world championship organised by the FIA, motor sport’s world governing body, and held on select circuits on the F1 Grand Prix schedule. (CMC/Nation News)

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