Monaco race 2


Monaco race 2

Luca Ghiotto and Artem Markelov finished fourth and fifth in Monte Carlo's reverse grid F2 sprint race, maximising a strong weekend for Russian Time. The team leaves the season's most prestigious race amid the yachts and celebrities, with 44 points – comfortably the biggest team score of the meeting.

With no pit stops or tyre strategy involved in the 30-lap race around Monaco's narrow streets, a processional race was almost inevitable. Luca started fourth and finished there, behind race winner Nyck De Vries, Johnny Cecotto and Gustav Malja. Artem, meanwhile, made up a place off the grid and then pulled off one of the race's few successful overtaking moves with a fine pass of Alexander Albon for fifth place at Rascasse.

Luca Ghiotto: «This is Monaco and although I managed an overtaking move in the feature race, you have to have patience and wait for a mistake from the guy in front if you don't want to risk losing your front wing. I pushed hard at different phases of the race but no opportunity arose and fourth was the best I could achieve. The points mean that I close the gap in the championship.»

Artem Markelov: «On the one hand, fifth is not what you aspire to, but if someone told you that you are going to make up two places around Monaco, you would probably take it! I was pleased with the overtake on Albon: I came quite late and probably caught him a little by surprise. It was tight, but I made it, and the extra points for fastest lap are a satisfying bonus.»

Svetlana Strelnikova (Team Principal): «You don't see too many clean, contact-free passing moves between closely-matched cars around Monaco and I think it's a tribute to both our drivers that they each pulled that off this weekend. Both were fast and drove with intelligence, Artem dropping back and setting fastest lap before the tyres were past their best. The strong teamwork sees Russian Time lead the teams' championship lead by 14 points. Artem is third in the drivers' championship, just 17 points behind Leclerc, with Luca four points behind him. A successful Monaco from the whole team!»

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