Artem Markelov scored his fourth F2 victory of the 2017 season with a fine blend of tyre conservation and aggressive driving to take the chequered flag almost 12s clear of Nicholas Latifi, whose DAMS team mate Oliver Rowland finished third. Luca Ghiotto, who started from the front row of the grid, was taken off at Turn 2 by contact with Jordan King but drove a fabulous recovery race, which included a tyre stop, to finish fourth, right with the DAMS pair.
Artem, who started on the second row, was promoted to third when King’s engine failed on lap 4. Following early race leader Alex Palou and Latifi, he looked after his medium compound Pirelli tyres while going quickly enough to stay ahead of championship rival Rowland. With five laps to go, he passed Latifi into Turn 1 and then pulled a fine move to go inside Palou at Turn 6, before leaving his rivals trailing by 2s per lap until chequered flag after 28 laps.
Artem Markelov: «I’m really happy with the win! We knew we had to make the tyres last and early on I was being careful through the quick corners where they are under most load. When I could see Palou and Latifi starting to struggle I was still in good shape and was able to make decisive moves. With just Abu Dhabi remaining I have given myself a chance of finishing series runner-up.»
Luca Ghiotto: «The contact on lap 1 was annoying and, of course, fighting my way back through into the top 10 killed my tyres. Like the Prema cars I stopped for Options, but later than them, and it was satisfying to pass both of them and come back so strongly. One more lap and we could have had a 1-2!»
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): «Wow! Artem drove a really mature, intelligent race, reminiscent of his win in Bahrain. A great effort. Luca’s race was also superb, real fighting stuff. He deserved a podium. What it means is that in the Teams’ championship it is still all to play for in the Abu Dhabi season finale with just six points covering Prema, DAMS and ourselves. Mathematically, both drivers can still finish second in the championship as well, so it’s going to be exciting. Well done to the whole team!”