Maximilian Gunther enjoyed his opening foray into the world of the FIA Formula 2 Championship with two points-scoring efforts at the Bahrain International Circuit last weekend, with the German clinching his maiden podium in the Sprint race.
The BWT Arden racer, who like Lando Norris has moved up from the FIA European Formula 3 Championship into Formula 2 in 2018, secured an excellent eighth place finish during Saturday’s Feature race, with the Mercedes-backed German using excellent tyre management to make gains where others were struggling and dropping back.
“I did have a great start and made up some places right there and then,” said Gunther. “However the competition was not sleeping and was attacking hard. I had some good battles and managed to hold onto P8.
“I’m happy with this result in my very first F2 race, especially since it’s meant pole position for Race 2 on Sunday. What an exciting start into my first formula 2 season!”
Gunther started from pole position for the Sprint race on Sunday but was unable to retain the lead at the start after suffering wheelspin away from the line, but he was able to claim a maiden podium finish with second place behind Artem Markelov.
“The Start in Bahrain is not easy, and I lost the lead right at the start due to wheel spin,” said Gunther. “Afterwards it was a close battle at the front and in the end I was fighting hard, since the tyre degradation was making it challenging to defend.
“I am super happy with my first F2 podium on my debut-weekend. That’s a promising start into the season and I’m already looking forward to the next race in Baku! The team did a fantastic job, a big thank you to the crew and I look forward to achieve more and more improvements with them during this year.”