The Campos Racing driver was satisfied with the second half of Day 2 of in-season testing in particular despite being P22 at the chequered flag. After his P1 result in the morning, the focus was very much on race performance and simulation rather than outright speed he explained.
“I think we’ve got a solid car underneath us for sure. The pace today was decent, but the good thing is we know where we can take that next step forward.
“Yesterday, we topped the morning session and that was on pure pace. Today was a bit different with a drying track. We got one performance run and six laps at the end. In the afternoon I only did race runs and a full-length Feature Race. That’s all I did so that explains being in P22, but it was a day to focus on the races after the performance runs yesterday.”
So far this season, Maini has scored points in every single race barring the Jeddah Feature Race. After stepping out of the car on Day 2 at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya, the Indian driver sees no reason that should change come Imola.
The Italian circuit will be just the second that the rookie will race on this year that he’s previously visited. Likewise, having prior experience of the Barcelona circuit has been positive, giving him a clearer reference of where he and the team stand.
“Obviously, being a rookie, I hadn’t driven any of the last three tracks we’ve raced on, so it’s good to come here and actually do some race runs.
“I’ve enjoyed the challenge of going to new tracks, Baku is now one of my favourites but after the last few races, I’ve gotten out of the car always thinking that this could have been better or that could have been better. I did a long run yesterday and we’ve taken a step forward from there and now we know where to go for the next step so that way we can build on things.
“I think our main focus today was to learn from the long runs, so not to be P1 or fighting to be quickest but learn as much information as possible. We’ve tried things we wouldn’t try on a race weekend, so it’s been a productive day.”
Casting one eye on the next round already, Maini says that getting some wet running under his belt has hardly been a bad thing either. With the weather always changeable around Imola, accumulating experience on the wet Pirelli tyres is a plus point rather than a nuisance according to the Campos driver.
“Many drivers used a lot of their slick tyres today because it's forecast to rain tomorrow. It has jumbled things up and we would have done a much different plan if it was dry for three days, but it's good to get some wet running as well. We have two sets of wet tyres to play with still, so that's good. We're ready for any situation and we’ll see what happens.
“Imola is always quite dodgy with the weather so it's good to get some mileage on the wets. When it was fully wet today, I think we were P5 and P6 and everyone was out on the track. So every time we’ve sat in the car, we've been in a position to fight for the top five, so I'm feeling good. I'm looking forward to getting our European season started.”