Russian driver Artem Markelov has been revealed as one of Toyota‘s drivers for the 2019 Super Formula Season, confirming a seat in the series with Team LeMans.
Markelov will partner alongside Kazuya Oshima in Super Formula this year with the series introducing the SF19. Markelov will make a fresh start in a new series after spending 5 years in FIA Formula 2/GP2 Series.
The F2 veteran was due to test in a previous generation Super Formula car in December, but pulled out last minute. Markelov will test the new car in a pre-season test at Suzuka in March 4-5.
After spending five years in F2/GP2 with Russian Time, Markelov ruled out on racing in the series for year number six but still aims to make it into Formula 1. Russian Time has since then folded and formed into UNI-Virtuosi Racing.
Markelov was linked to a potential seat at Williams Racing over the course of 2018, but lost out to F2 2018 champion George Russell and Robert Kubica. The twenty-four year old however, did conduct a post-season test with Renault F1 Team in Abu Dhabi as part of his duties with the team.
Toyota have also announced several drivers in their camp for the Super Formula season. With the addition of Nick Cassidy and Kazuki Nakajima at TOM’S, whilst Kamui Kobayashi will have a sole drive with KCMG this year.
Yuji Kunimoto and Kenta Yamashita join together at Kondo respectfully, with Yuhi Sekiguchi and Ryo Hirakawa at Impul. Sho Tsuboi will combine his Super GT commitments and Super Formula drive at Igning for 2019. His team-mate will be Hiroaki Ishiura.
The 2019 Super Formula season will see the introducing of a new Super Formula car, fitted with the halo protection device. The new car is touted to be faster and safer than the previous generation.
The new car will still have IndyCar-Style OTS (Overtaking system) from the old cars, alongside changes to allow the drivers to deploy around 100 seconds worth of boost in the race, with a minimal use of one second.