Artem Markelov was one of the stars of the opening round of the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship around the Bahrain International Circuit, although the results that came his way looked unlikely as the lights went out on Saturday afternoon.
The Russian Time driver stalled on the grid initially and was forced to start from the pit lane, but his subsequent charge through the field, done while superbly managing his tyres, saw him claim a dramatic podium, finishing behind only the Carlin duo of Lando Norris and Sergio Sette Câmara, although the latter fought hard to deny Markelov second place across the final few laps.
Starting sixth in Sunday’s Sprint race, the Renault Sport Formula One Team Development Driver was soon up to second, and when Nyck de Vries made his pit stop from the lead, he was promoted to the front of the field, which from there on in he looked untroubled to take the victory.
“I’m really happy to win the Sprint race, so thanks to my team for doing such a great job,” said Markelov. “I’d also like to thank Renault Sport for supporting me all weekend and, of course, my fans.
“The first race was quite difficult, but I had to really concentrate and in the end we fought for that third place. I made a nice start in the Sprint and had to manage my tyres, which proved difficult, but we did enough in the end.
“We have the potential and I want to improve in Baku and put on a show!”