Artem Markelov scored a fine victory in a dramatic Monte Carlo F2 feature race – his second in three years! – and also claimed the 27-point maximum with the race’s fastest lap. Russian Time team mate Tadasuke Makino was unfortunate to be taken out when he was hit on the run to the first corner.
Markelov initially ran third, trading fastest race laps with front row starters Alexander Albon and Nyck De Vries. They all faced a challenge when Sean Gelael, who started on the Pirelli Supersoft (Option) tyre pitted after nine of the race’s 42 laps and then had much of the stop time deficit wiped out by a subsequent Safety Car, when series leader Lando Norris hit Ralph Boschung.
Albon and De Vries tried to take advantage of the intervention to get their tyre stops done, but collided in the pitlane entry, ruining their races. Artem stayed out, leading, but faced the task of opening out a pit stop window (around 25s) over Gelael and Roberto Merhi. He managed it with eight laps to go, rejoined 1.9s ahead of the Prema car, and then claimed fastest lap on his Supersofts.
Artem Markelov: «After problems at the last couple of races I’m delighted to get my championship challenge back on. The guys did a great job with the car but it was a tough race mentally. I had to try to keep the tyres in decent shape, which I did, while pushing hard enough to build the pit stop gap. I was on the limit and you’re always in danger of damaging the car when you drive like that constantly in Monte Carlo. But we did it and it’s a fantastic feeling!”
Tadasuke Makino: «That was mighty frustrating. Everyone dreams of racing in Monaco, qualifying was decent and then I get pincered before Turn 1…”
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): «That was such bad luck for Tadasuke, who suffered right-front damage, but a great drive from Artem. His race was controlled at every stage and that’s hard to achieve in Monaco. His recent Monaco record – first, second, first – is great, the and numbers are starting to look impressive: that was his fifth GP2/F2 feature race victory, his eighth in total and his 12th podium. It puts him back into the championship top three.”