Latest news: after Leclerc and Rowland were disqualified Russian Time drivers Artem Markelov and Luca Ghiotto are 1 and 2 in the race protocol.
Artem Markelov finished a fantastic second in the F2 feature race at Spa, passing series rival Oliver Rowland at the last corner to cap a great drive from ninth on the grid. Team mate Luca Ghiotto crowned a successful afternoon by taking fourth, improving on his starting position by three places.
The team covered the bases by running Artem on a Prime/Option strategy – which was helped by an early Virtual Safety Car period – and taking the more commonly used Option/Prime approach with Luca. Both drivers drove fine opening laps, with Luca fourth by the end of it and Artem fifth. Luca then ran as high as second before his lap 9 pit stop. Artem drove skillfully to go 15 laps into the 25-lap distance, importantly managing to pass the similarly-tyred Fuoco at the same time as looking after his rubber. Once onto the softer tyre for the final laps, Artem passed the Racing Enginnering pair then closed down his team mate with four laps to go, before setting his sights on Rowland’s DAMS car. The race was won by championship leader Charles Leclerc.
Artem Markelov: «It feels great to score a second feature race podium at Spa. The team gave me a great car and my engineer was on the radio a lot telling me to look after the tyres. I managed that while also making some important overtakes. On the last lap I didn’t make the mistake of going for the inside of Rowland this time, but managed to cut back and get around the outside of him out of the last corner. That was certainly no boring race!»
Luca Ghiotto: «We knew we had better pace than qualifying showed. My opening couple of laps were strong but the VSC didn’t help those who started on the Option tyre. Artem and I raced hard for a couple of laps but he had more grip at that stage. I have closed in on fouth place in the championship»
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): «Great performances by both drivers! They did some decisive overtaking and raced each other hard and responsibly. For Artem, second place partially makes up for his disappointment in Hungary. We have closed the margins in both the Drivers’ and Teams’ championships.”