Artem Markelov was overjoyed after securing his maiden GP2 Series victory in extraordinary circumstances in Monaco during Friday’s Feature race.
The Russian driver took his Russian Time machine to the front of the field despite having started down in fifteenth position, making the most of the multiple virtual safety cars during the race to move ahead of long-time race leader Norman Nato when he made his mandatory pit stop on the penultimate lap.
Markelov had made time up after being in the right place at the right time when the virtual safety cars were deployed, gaining time by being in the slower section whereas Nato was in a faster section and losing more time as a result.
“I can’t believe it – winning in Monaco from 15th!” expressed Markelov. “It’s a fantastic feeling but I want to thank the whole team for their efforts after yesterday and the great strategy without which I could not have done it.
“When I came out of the pits I didn’t know I was leading and only knew when the team told me on the radio on the slowdown lap!”
Markelov would score one further point during Saturday’s Sprint race as he finished eighth, but was unable to do anything about those in front of him despite feeling he had the quicker car.
“With no stops or strategy involved in the sprint race it was always likely to be a typical Monaco ‘follow the leader’ but after yesterday I can’t complain!” said Markelov.
“I spent the whole race behind Oliver Rowland and despite my quickest lap being a second faster, there was never a real opportunity to pass and I was determined to score points.”