We are the champions!
Russian Time clinched its second GP2/F2 championship with fifth and sixth places from Luca Ghiotto and Artem Markelov in the season’s final F2 round. The team headed into the race with a 20-point advantage over PREMA Racing after DAMS driver Oliver Rowland was disqualified from his Saturday race win for a rule infringment with the underbody ‘plank.’ That promoted Artem to his third feature race victory of the season and confirmed him as series runner-up.
When PREMA’s Antonio Fuoco was also excluded from the feature race result for a tyre irregularity, Luca was also promoted to the podium and the Russian Time cars started today’s race sixth and eighth. Artem attacked in the early laps, passing Luca before the pair of them went either side of Jordan King into Turn 11 and then Luca re-passed Artem. The Italian pressed Matsushita hard but had to settle for fifth place, just 5s behind race winner Charles Leclerc, with Alexander Albon and Nicholas Latifi taking the podium positions. Artem came home half a second clear of season-long rival Rowland.
Artem Markelov: «It’s been a really strong year, with three feature race wins in Bahrain, Spa and here, plus a good pole position this weekend proving that I have made strides with all aspects of my driving. Thanks to the whole team and all those involved with my own physical and mental prepararation for what has been a really fulfilling season»
Luca Ghiotto: «I want to echo Artem’s words – we’ve been strong everywhere apart from a small mid-season blip. It was difficult to lose my main race win at home in Monza but over the season I have scored in more races than any other driver and was in contention for a top three championship finish, to the end»
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): «Congratulations to Artem, Luca and the whole team on a great year. It has given us our second championship (after 2013) in the team’s five-year history. We did it by 15 points. The fact that we were the only team to score at every round is testament to the unstinting hard work from everyone involved, which gave us that winning consistency”
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