Sochi Race 2
Artem Markelov finished a fighting fifth in the Sochi F2 Sprint race, gaining six places from his 11th position on the grid, after radio problems compromised his result in Saturday’s Feature race. Team mate Tadasuke Makino had to be content with 11th place after the Japanese F2 rookie scored a hard-earned point on Saturday despite a first lap collision that damaged his car.
Artem took advantage of any overtaking opportunity that came his way, including a fine double-pass of Roberto Merhi and Nyck De Vries to put himself into the top five. At that stage he was within 7s of championship and race leader George Russell, but rain just after half distance in the 21-lap race sent most of the field into the pits for wet tyres. Artem then passed Antonio Fuoco, who stayed out longer on slicks, but just lost out on fourth place after a close battle with De Vries. Russell claimed victory, ahead of Sergio Sette Camara and Alexander Albon. The series concludes at Abu Dhabi in November.
Artem Markelov: “I did everything I could today and really enjoyed the move where I was able to pass Merhi and then get straight down the inside of De Vries when I don’t think he was expecting it. We’ve had our fair share of problems in what has been a busy weekend, but I’ve enjoyed the racing as well as doing Friday first practice for the Renault F1 Team!”
Tadasuke Makino: “I was right with Artem in the early laps but he got through a couple of cars and I was held up. The positive this weekend has been the pace I showed right from the start on a track that was new to me. And I scored points for the eighth time this year despite being put into the barrier right at the start on Saturday. It’s been hard work but satisfying.”
Svetlana Strelnikova (Team principal): “Artem’s drive was impressive once again today and it would have been interesting to see what he might have managed without the rain. On the positive side, both Artem and Tada scored points this weekend but ultimately I think we had the pace to challenge the front-runners if it wasn’t for our electronic / radio problems.”
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