Russian Time enjoyed a hightly successful Monaco feature race with Artem Markelov following up his 2016 victory with second place behind British driver Oliver Rowland. Team mate Luca Ghiotto also scored strong points with some opportunistic driving and strong team strategy getting the Italian home fifth.
As usual the Monte Carlo race saw plenty of incident with the F2 teams having to negotiate two Safety Car interventions. The first, on the eighth of the race's 41 laps, saw Russian Time pit Ghiotto to go onto the prime tyre after Luca had already pulled off a fine pass of Cecotto at Rascasse. Markelov, meanwhile, had started on the prime tyre and the team felt that 33 laps on the option tyre was a little risky, so left him out in fourth place. When the second Safety Car arrived with 20 laps to go, the team promply pitted Artem and he re-emerged from the pits second, behind Rowland. Looking after his rubber after the restart, he brought the gap down to under 1s by the chequered flag.
Artem Markelov: «Not quite last year maybe, but second place is good for the championship! I tried to attack Rowland at the second restart but he was very quick and I then looked after the option tyre to try to attack him again at the end. I am more patient this year! I got very close but it's hard to pass at Monaco. The team strategy was strong and I think the second place is everything we could have taken from the race today.»
Luca Ghiotto: «Monaco is often processional but I managed a good overtake on Cecotto and the early Safety Car helped. Albon went onto the option tyre then and was having to make them last. I got close to passing him around half distance but had to go across the chicane and give up the place, so ultimately fifth place and the points is a good result from the fourth row of the grid.»
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): «Great drives by both Artem and Luca, strong strategy all round and two cars in the top five. Artem and Luca are now third and fourth in the drivers' championship and we are just two points behind DAMS in the teams' championship. A good day!»