Artem Markelov admits to being impressed with the set-up of the Renault Sport Formula One Team during the Bahrain Grand Prix weekend, his first official meeting since being announced as a development driver for the Enstone-based team in 2018.
The Russian, who is dovetailing his duties with Renault with a championship challenge in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Russian Time, felt there was a lot of information to compute during the weekend in Bahrain, but he knows it was essential for him to learn as he aims to move up to a Formula 1 race seat in the future.
“I was very impressed with the Formula 1 set-up in Bahrain, my first proper weekend with Renault,” said Markelov. “The work was very beneficial for me, learning from the mechanics, engineers and drivers as well.
“I was listening to the engineers and learnt a lot about the car, which was nice. There’s a lot of information to take on, but that’s part of the role.”
Markelov enjoyed his first opportunity on the Renault simulator last week, and he hopes he can aid the team in improving the car going forward for race drivers Nico Hülkenberg and Carlos Sainz Jr.
“It’s been nice work and I’m getting better and better each lap I drive,” said the Russian. “It’s pretty exciting with eight gears on the straight and downforce in the corners.
“Hopefully I can help improve the car for the boys.”
Markelov is eager to get his first taste of driving a Formula 1 car at some point in 2018, but he knows his main aim this season is to win the Formula 2 title, and he started the year well with a win and a podium in Bahrain at the beginning of the month.
“I think my main target across 2018 is to learn as much as possible with Renault and I’ll get a chance in Formula 1 machinery very soon!” said Markelov. “I want to win the Formula 2 Championship and I’ll be fighting for that, but it’s racing and anything can happen.
“I’m good in the races, but there’s room for improvement in qualifying.”