Artem Markelov finished the F2 season’s final Feature race with a battling second place in Abu Dhabi, behind newly-crowned champion and 2019 Williams F1 driver George Russell. Tadasuke Makino backed him up with another fighting, point-scoring drive to ninth after losing four places on a chaotic opening lap.
From fourth place on the grid, Artem was third into the first corner behind Nick De Vries and pole man Russell, but more starting problems saw both DAMS cars stall, with Arjun Maini hitting the back of Nicholas Latifi, causing the opening laps to be run under Safety Car. When the race resumed, Russell was the first of the leaders to put for Pirelli’s prime tyre, with Artem stopping two laps later. He resumed still third but was passed by Lando Norris, who had pitted earlier, with the help of DRS into T11. After following the Carlin car closely for three laps, Artem re-took the position at Turn 8, closed down and passed De Vries on lap 22, and finished just 3.3s behind Russell. Former Russian Time driver Luca Ghiotto completed the podium finishers from 16th.
Artem Markelov: "It’s good to score my seventh podium of the season. I had been hoping for another win but I lost a bit too much time behind Norris. I caught and passed De Vries but by that stage George was a bit too far ahead and second was the best I could do."
Tadasuke Makino: "The start was a bit of a mess and I lost some positions but fought back well. I enjoyed the moves to pass Boccolacci, Ticktum and Aitken and it was a good feeling to score points for the ninth time this year!"
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): "Great performances by both drivers! We’re used to seeing overtaking from Artem and saw it some more, but Tada was also impressive in the way he fought past three guys, including a double Macau winner, in what was his first twilight race. We will be hoping to finish the season with more of the same tomorrow!"