Markelov Takes Sprint Race Win as Tyres Play Huge Part at Jerez

Credit: Andrew Ferraro/FIA Formula 2

Artem Markelov took his fourth FIA Formula 2 Championship victory of the season as the Russian came out on top in the Sprint race at the Circuito de Jerez on Sunday.

Early on, pole sitter Alex Palou got the jump on the field, but soon it became clear that tyres were to play an important part of the afternoon, with a number of drivers making the rare decision to make pit stops.

Palou led by more than three seconds early on from Nicholas Latifi and Markelov, but eventually found himself dropping off the pace, with the Spaniard falling into the clutches of the Canadian, Russian and Briton Oliver Rowland.

Markelov made a move on Latifi for second into turn one on lap twenty-three, and then took over the lead from Palou later on the same lap, with the Spaniard then falling to fourth on the following lap.

Markelov was in a class of his own up front, with the Russian Time driver pulling out a 11.840 second advantage in the final six laps of the race, with Latifi holding off Rowland to the chequered flag, but it was a two-car podium for DAMS.

The last four laps saw the drivers who had made pit stops coming through the field, with Charles Leclerc, one of the first drivers to make a pit stop, catching and passing Palou on the penultimate lap to move into fourth, only for his pace to drop off dramatically on the final lap to finish down in seventh, although Palou fell to eight as his tyres faded.

Luca Ghiotto claimed fourth despite running across the gravel trap at the exit of turn two on the opening lap following contact with Jordan King and making a pit stop, with the Russian Time racer getting the best of fellow Italian Antonio Fuoco on the final lap.

Nyck de Vries made a last corner move on Leclerc to claim sixth for Racing Engineering, with Palou just holding on for the final point ahead of Alexander Albon and Norman Nato.

Artem Markelov (centre) celebrates with fellow podium finishers Nicholas Latifi and Oliver Rowland – Credit: Zak Mauger/FIA Formula 2

Circuito de Jerez Sprint Race Result

16Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time43:01.086s
210Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS+11.840s
39Oliver RowlandGBRDAMS+13.286s
45Luca GhiottoITARussian Time+14.691s
52Antonio FuocoITAPrema Racing+16.497s
63Nyck de VriesNEDRacing Engineering+20.201s
71Charles LeclercMONPrema Racing+20.510s
812Alex PalouESPCampos Racing+25.027s
98Alexander AlbonTHAART Grand Prix+25.613s
1020Norman NatoFRAPertamina Arden+30.411s
117Nobuharu MatsushitaJAPART Grand Prix+34.059s
1218Louis DeletrazITARapax+38.074s
1317Santino FerrucciUSATrident+44.257s
1414Sergio Sette CamaraBRZMP Motorsport+52.036s
1516Nabil JeffriMAYTrident+52.395s
1621Sean GelaelINOPertamina Arden+52.516s
1719Rene BinderAUTRapax+52.658s
184Gustav MaljaSWERacing Engineering+1:04.836s
19/RET11Ralph BoschungSWICampos Racing+1 Lap
RET15Jordan KingGBRMP MotorsportRetired