The GP2 season finale at the impressive Yas Marina track in Abu Dhabi affords Artem Markelov an opportunity to finish the season on a high as the young Russian produced a fine qualifying performance. He will start tomorrow's feature race third on the grid.
With a 1m47.901s lap in the dying seconds of today's qualifying session, Markelov missed a place on the front row by just a tenth of a second, as championship hopeful Pierre Gasly secured pole position with a lap in 1m47.476s. Raffaele Marciello starts eighth, just 0.08s behind the other main championship protagonist, Antonio Giovinazzi.
Artem Markelov: «I'm very pleased with that! My warm-up lap on my last run was a little slower than Lello's and he was a tenth quicker than me in the first sector but my tyres were properly in for the second sector, I found time and the overall lap was good. I'm optimistic about my chances starting at the front of the grid. I want to thank the whole team for the great progress we have made since Malaysia»
Raffaele Marciello: «On my second qualifying run I improved in the first sector but then lost a bit of time in sector two and eighth was the result. Obviously I can achieve more strong points from there and that will be my target tomorrow»
Svetlana Strelnikova: «I'm really pleased for Artem. Many times we have seen what he can achieve in a racing situation but qualifying has sometimes been problematic. But we really focused on qualifying here and he nailed it. Let's look forward to an exciting race! Lello has always displayed great consistency and he can be in the mix tomorrow as well»