UNI-Virtuosi Racing will replace Russian Time in next year’s FIA Formula 2 Championship.
The Russian team will depart from the series, with the team’s entry, cars and assets going to the British team with immediate effect.
The Virtuosi outfit has run Russian Time for four years and has been successful in the F2/GP2 series, winning the 2017 teams’ title as well as developing the talent of Artem Markelov in the series.
This year, Russian Time have taken victory four times with Markelov and Tadasuke Makino and finished fifth overall in the teams’ championship, one point behind Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing.
But as Markelov will depart from the series, so will the Russian Time team with UNI-Virtuosi Racing set to start their F2 life in pre-season testing in 2019.
F2 CEO Bruno Michel welcomes the British team to the series and sends his thanks to Russian Time, Markelov and RT’s team principal Svetlana Strelnikova for their time in the series.
“I am pleased to welcome UNI-Virtuosi Racing as part of the F2 field in 2019,” said Michel.
“We are familiar with the hard-working group of people who will run the team. They have been very successful in our Championship and I know we can expect the same level of performance from them next season.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Russian Time, Svetlana Strelnikova and Artem Markelov for their dedication over the years.
“It’s been a pleasure to work with them and to see Artem grow into one of the most interesting drivers to watch on track.”
UNI-Virtuosi’s team owner Andy Roche has been with the Russian Time squad for the last two seasons’, overseeing the teams’ success from the 2017 and 2018 season.
The team have yet to announce their driver line-up yet, but are set to announce very soon.
Roche say he and the UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s owners are committed with the same mindset they’ve had which led to the teams’ success a few years back and hope they can continue on for 2019.
“We are pleased to announce that UNI-Virtuosi will race in Formula 2 next season,” said Roche. “We have enjoyed a very successful four years with Russian time and would like to wish Artem and Svetlana good luck with their future plans.
“UNI-Virtuosi Racing’s owners, Paul Devlin, Declan Lohan and I are fully committed to continue with the same mind set which led Russian Time to the 2017 Teams championship, 13 race wins and 38 podiums and the team will continue with the same engineering staff and structure to ensure this success continues in to 2019 and beyond.
“We are close to announcing drivers for 2019 and expect to a final decision very soon.”