F2 leader Maloney “not focused on the championship”

Maloney heads to Imola for the fourth weekend of the 2024 F2 season with a 15-point lead over Paul Aron.

With seven events coming in the next 11 weekends, this number making up half of the season’s total outings, the upcoming period will see the championship picture rapidly take shape.

But speaking to Autosport, Maloney reflected: “I’m not focussed on the championship, I’m not focussed on staying consistently in the top five – that doesn’t get you into F1.

“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.”

Asked how he will achieve the level of consistency required to remain at the front during such a busy period, he added: “The main way is to just drive the car as fast as I can. The more you complicate it, the harder it gets. The more you simplify it while looking at all the details is how 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.”

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

Despite holding a margin that guarantees his place at the top of the table at least until the feature race, the gap to Aron has reduced in every race since Bahrain, with Dennis Hauger and Isack Hadjar also closing in – the latter denied a double victory of his own in Australia only by a 10-second penalty for causing a collision at the start of that weekend’s sprint race.

On whether his start to the season had exceeded expectations, Maloney said: “Coming into the year, there is never really a result expectation.

“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, that lap wasn’t good from my side and I knew that and tried to improve on that for the next time.

“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 I’m just trying to improve every day really.”

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