Tadasuke Makino scored the best result of his rookie F2 season with seventh place in the Feature race in Austria. Team mate Artem Markelov also drove a great race to come from 18th on the grid to eighth.
Tadasuke, who qualified 10th, held that place at the end of the opening lap and then, like most of the field, took advantage of a lap 6 Safety Car to make his mandatory tyre stop. He then did an accomplished job of managing his tyres to score the third points finish of his debut F2 year so far.
Artem adopted the reverse strategy, staying out at both the first Safety Car interruption and a second, 21 laps into the 40-lap race. Running third, he passed Sean Gelael and Arjun Maini to take the lead, building a 4s gap over eventual race winner George Russell. Artem finally pitted to go onto the Option (Supersoft) tyres with just four laps remaining. He rejoined 13th, set the race’s fastest lap and passed five cars on the last lap! His fighting drive included a brave move down the inside of Turn 3 that gained him four positions, then a vital last corner pass of Nirei Fukuzumi that earned him the Sprint race pole. Lando Norris finished second, ahead of Antonio Fuoco.
Tadasuke Makino: “After qualifying in the top 10, I was expecting to score points and it’s satisfying to finish seventh, so close to Sette Camara. Both cars will be starting at the front tomorrow so that should present us with a great opportunity to score another strong helping of points.”
Artem Markelov: “I said yesterday that the target from 18th on the grid had to be the Sprint race pole but I didn’t know it I’d be able to achieve it! I just went for it on the last lap and it was really satisfying to get Fukuzumi at the last corner. The strategy was good and now let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): «Congratulations to both drivers. Tadasuke drove a really mature race that belied his lack of F2 experience and Artem was brilliant -- his usual attacking self. Our reward is a lock-out of the front of the grid for tomorrow. No pressure, but a 1-2 would be nice!”