Artem Markelov and Tadasuke Makino were left to reflect on a disappointing Barcelona sprint race. Artem, after suffering front suspension damage on the opening lap, fell down the order after lining up on pole position. Tadasuke was taken out just five laps into the 26-lap race by fellow Japanese driver Nirei Fukuzumi.
With overnight rain on the resurfaced Circuit de Catalunya, the opening laps took place on a greasy surface before the racing line gradually dried. Artem dropped to 11th place after opening lap contact, his car feeling unbalance, but he was able to adapt his driving and fight back later in the race, narrowly failing to take the final point for eighth from Canadian Nicholas Latifi on the last lap.
The race saw a first F2 win for Artem’s fellow Renault F1-affiliated driver Jack Aitken, ahead of Alexander Albon and series leader Lando Norris.
Artem Markelov: «Aitken got a slightly better start than me and came down my inside into Turn 1. I found myself a bit off-line with no grip and further around the lap I touched with Nyck De Vries, which caused the suspension damage. The car felt very tricky to drive after that but I did what I could to adapt as the race went on. It’s frustrating not to score points starting from pole and I’ll be doing everything to get my championship challenge back on track in Monaco.”
Tadasuke Makino: «After my second successive feature race in the points, I was hoping for more today and I was running solidly in the top 10 when Nirei tried to come inside me into Turn 4 and put me in the gravel. There was nothing I could have done to avoid a collision and the stewards are looking into the incident.”
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): «The second character-building race weekend in a row for us. Both drivers scored in the main race but we came away empty-handed today with a bit of head-scratching to do before Monaco in a fortnight’s time. We are determined to fight back strongly there in the season’s blue riband event. Artem won it for us two years ago and finished second last year.”