Victor Martins and Kush Maini complete their first A522 test of the year in Spielberg, Austria

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Alpine Academy drivers Victor Martins and Kush Maini took to the track in Spielberg this week, driving the A522 Formula 1 car as part of the French team's young driver test programme.

Both drivers, who are currently competing in their second season of FIA Formula 2, each took driving duties for a full day with Kush driving the A522 on Wednesday 5th June, and Victor driving on Thursday 6th June.

The test in Austria marked Maini’s first time in a modern-spec F1 car and second time testing with Entsone-based squad. Maini previously drove the A521 at Bahrain International Circuit in 2023 after joining the Alpine Academy programme in October last year.

Martins has previously participated in three test days with the team. He drove the A521 at Autodromo Nazionale Monza, Spielberg, and Hungaroring in 2023. This test also marked the Frenchman’s first time in modern F1 machinery.

The event makes up part of the young driver testing programme, which both drivers will participate in throughout the year as members of the Alpine Academy.

Commenting on his test outing, Maini said: “My first full day in a Formula 1 car is complete in Spielberg. It was a dream come true and it was better than I could have ever imagined it to be. I am so grateful to BWT Alpine F1 Team for believing in me and giving me this opportunity.

"The Race Support Team did an incredible job to get me up to speed quickly and have the test run as smoothly as possible, their hard work and effort does not go unnoticed, so a big thank you to them.

"We completed our run plan successfully and we were able to tick everything off our check list which made for an incredible test. I can not wait for the next one.”

Expanding on his day, Martins added: “It has been a beautiful day of testing in Austria. It is incredible to get another opportunity to drive in Formula 1 machinery after the three days of testing I did with BWT Alpine F1 Team in 2023.

"The feeling of being in the car is incredible and the day was really enjoyable thanks to the support of the team on site who worked hard to make it a trouble free test. It was another positive test for me, and it was a great opportunity to learn as much as possible, we maximised the day’s running, going through both qualifying and race simulations.

"To have the track to myself and get the maximum enjoyment out of the car was an added bonus after a tough start to my Formula 2 season, it certainly reaffirmed my confidence as a driver. Thank you to the team for giving me the chance to drive the A522 around Spielberg. I am looking forward to the next one.”