Russian Time’s Artem Markelov Claims Dramatic Feature Race Win in Monaco

Artem Markelov - FIA Formula 2 - Monaco
Credit: Zak Mauger / FIA Formula 2

Russian Time‘s Artem Markelov claims a dramatic feature race win in Monaco in FIA Formula 2 after  Alexander Albon and Nyck de Vries clash at the pit entrance whilst leading under the safety car.

Albon and de Vries made contact at the pit entry as the Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing driver tried to enter the pits, but was cut off by the DAMS of Albon who dived to the pit at the last second. The pair clash into each other and would later end their races due to the damage sustained.

The Russian benefited from their clash and took the lead of race, performed strongly as he set the pace to beat Sean Gelael, who claims second place by switching to an alternative strategy earlier in the race. Roberto Merhi in the MP Motorsport finished in third to collect his first ever Formula 2 podium.

The Charouz Racing System‘s of Louis Delétraz finished in fourth place to earn his first points of the season. Trident‘s Arjun Maini finished in fifth place ahead of Lando Norris, who had a dramatic race after colliding with MP Motorsport‘s Ralph Boschung. ART Grand Prix‘s Jack Aitken scored the only points for the French team as he finished in seventh.

Antonio Fuoco ended the race in eighth and will start tomorrow’s sprint race in pole position tomorrow. The Italian had a dramatic start after cutting across of Campos Vexatec Racing‘s Luca Ghiotto before Turn 1.

Prior to the race, multiple drivers were handed penalties in qualifying. Lando Norris was given a grid penalty for impeding pole sitter Alexander Albon, whilst Maximilian Günther missed the weigh bridge during qualifying, resulting him to start from the pit lane.

Sergio Sette Câmara missed the feature race today due to an injury with his hand after crashing in qualifying.

With lights out, it was Albon who leads ahead of de Vries and Mareklov. Santino Ferrucci stalled on the grid and lost out on a good grid position. Luca Ghiotto didn’t even make it to turn 1 as he made contact with Antonio Fuoco who cut across the Campos at the start and crashed out of the race. The safety car made an appearance as the marshal cleared the stranded car.

With the safety car in on lap 3, Albon leads cleanly away ahead of de Vries, Markelov and Fuoco. The DAMS and the Prema followed each other closely with the Dutch driver stalking the rear of Albon’s car but couldn’t find a way pass.

Fuoco was handed a drive-through penalty for his opening lap incident with Ghiotto, the Italian driver calling the penalty call “ridiculous” over the radio whilst in fourth place. He took his penalty on lap 6 and dropped down to 13th place.

George Russell‘s race was short lived when he crashed into La Rascasse whilst making a diving pass on Nirei Fukuzumi, but carried too much speed into the corner and hit the wall.

At the front, de Vries followed close to the race leader Albon but still couldn’t find a way pass the DAMS driver around the twisty streets of Monaco.

Down the field, Boschung and Norris battled for 12th place but Norris made a late move at Anthony Noghes but clashed with the MP Motorsport driver and shunting him into the wall. The clash caused the safety car to make a second appearance.

During the safety car, de Vries pulled into the pit entrance but at the last minute, Albon pulled in as well causing a collision at the pit entry. Dramatic scenes from the two race leaders with the DAMS facing the wrong way and stalled. The Prema of de Vries was able to resume and pit in, but the clash between the two allowed Markelov to lead the race under the safety car.

As the safety car came in, Markelov leads ahead of Maini, Aitken and Fukuzumi. For the incident with Boschung, Norris has been given a drive-through penalty to take during the race.

The aftermath of the incident with Albon caught up with de Vries as he started to lose pace due to suspension damage and started to drop down the field. The Prema team called him into the pits to retire from the race.

At the half way stage of the race on lap 21, it was Markelov who leads ahead of Maini, Aitken, Fukuzumi, Nicholas Latifi and Fuoco. On lap 26, former race leader Albon pulled into the pits to retire after being a lap down following his collision with de Vries. The incident is to be investigated after the race.

Markelov pulled away from second place as he set fast laps to get ahead of Sean Gelael, who was the leading car that has pitted in eighth place, attempting to create a 26 second gap to beat the Prema driver.

On lap 35, The Russian Time dived into the pits from the lead for new tyres and got out ahead of Gelael in third behind Latifi and Gunther, who both still have to pit. Gunther pitted the following lap but Latifi stayed out in a bid for a safety car and win the race. The Canadian eventually pitted on lap 39 and came out in ninth place, handing the lead back to Markelov.

The Russian Time was untouched in the final laps and took the chequered flag for his second Monaco win in the series ahead of Sean Gelael and Roberto Merhi who claims his first F2 podium.

Louis Deletraz claims fourth place to grab his first points of the season ahead of Maini, Norris, Aitken and Fuoco who will start on reverse grid pole for the sprint race.

11Artem MarkelovRUSRussian Time
23Sean GelaelINOPertamina Prema Theodore Racing-10.7
39Roberto MerhiESPMP Motorsport-15.4
420Louis DeletrazSUICharouz Racing System-19.2
516Arjun MainiINDTrident-20.1
619Lando NorrisGBRCarlin Motorsport-20.6
77Jack AitkenGBRART Grand Prix-21.9
821Antonio FuocoITACharouz Racing System-23.8
96Nicholas LatifiCANDAMS-24.8
1012Nirei FukuzumiJPNBWT Arden-30.9
1111Maximilian GuntherGERBWT Arden-31.5
1215Roy NissanyISRCampos Vexatec Racing-49.7
1317Santino FerrucciUSATrident-87.4
142Tadasuke MakinoJPNRussian Time3 Laps
155Alexander AlbonTHADAMSDNF
164Nyck de VriesNEDPertamina Prema Theodore RacingDNF
1710Ralph BoschungSUIMP MotorsportDNF
188George RussellGBRART Grand PrixDNF
1914Luca GhiottoITACampos Vexatec RacingDNF
2018Sergio Sette CamaraBRZCarlin MotorsportDNS