RUSSIAN TIME’s Artem Markelov controlled proceedings at the Red Bull Ring to take his second win of the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship season.

The Russian started the Sprint Race from pole and stayed clear of all the drama that ensued behind to close in on the title battle as championship leader Charles Leclerc retired after a tangle with his teammate Antonio Fuoco.

Markelov led comfortably from the start and pulled a gap from Alexander Albon with Rowland a close third after Ralph Boschung stalled from second place on the grid. This meant that Feature Race winner Charles Leclerc had to steer clear of the Swiss, costing him a handful of places while series returnee Raffaele Marciello couldn’t avoid Boschung and ultimately crashed into him, deploying the Safety Car.

After the Safety Car, Leclerc overtook Jordan King for fifth and hunted down the battling duo of Oliver Rowland and Fuoco in third and fourth respectively. As Fuoco slid wide at the exit of Turn 4, Leclerc was caught unaware, touching the sister PREMA and spinning into retirement, prompting a Virtual Safety Car.

After the VSC period, Markelov quickly reinstated a consistent lead of about 3 seconds to Albon, who was followed by Oliver Rowland. Behind them, an action-packed race ensued as Luca Ghiotto, who started from 14th, swept through the field one by one, taking fourth from Fuoco on Lap 23 and putting the pressure on Rowland, but to no avail.

Markelov took the chequered flag comfortably ahead of Albon and Rowland, who closed in on Leclerc’s championship lead, while Ghiotto led home a reinvigorated Fuoco in 4th and 5th respectively.

Jordan King took sixth ahead of Nicholas Latifi and Nato who initially finished 7th and 8th respectively but swapped places in the final classification after a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit-lane demoted the DAMS driver to the final points position, behind Nato who turned a P20 start off the grid to a P7 finish.

Formula 2 returns next week in Silverstone on July 13-16.

FIA Formula 2 Championship 2017 Race of Austria – Sprint Race Provisional Classification (28 laps)
Driver Team / Entry Laps Result
1. Artem Markelov Russian Time 28 40:32.190
2. Alexander Albon ART Grand Prix 28 + 1.458
3. Oliver Rowland DAMS 28 + 2.055
4. Luca Ghiotto Russian Time 28 + 5.840
5. Antonio Fuoco PREMA Racing 28 + 6.629
6. Jordan King MP Motorsport 28 + 10.515
7. Norman Nato Pertamina Arden 28 + 13.656
8. Nicholas Latifi* DAMS 28 + 15.922
9. Sergio Canamasas Rapax 28 + 15.979
10. Sergio Sette Câmara MP Motorsport 28 + 16.282
11. Sean Gelael Pertamina Arden 28 + 18.849
12. Nabil Jeffri Trident 28 + 20.948
13. Louis Delétraz Racing Engineering 28 + 21.301
14. Nobuharu Matsushita ART Grand Prix 28 + 22.443
15. Gustav Malja Racing Engineering 28 + 1:07.922
16. Nyck de Vries Rapax 26 Collision
17. Robert Vișoiu Campos Racing 25 Collision
Not Classified Team / Entry Laps Result
DNF. Ralph Boschung Campos Racing 15 Damage
DNF. Charles Leclerc PREMA Racing 4 Collision
DNF. Raffaele Marciello Trident 0 Collision

Post-Race Penalties:

  • Nicholas Latifi – who was provisionally classified in sixth place – was awarded a 5-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Drivers’ standings:

1- Charles Leclerc, 151 points.
2- Oliver Rowland, 102 points.
3- Artem Markelov, 99 points.

Teams’ standings:

1- PREMA, 174 points.
2- DAMS, 174 points.
3- RUSSIAN TIME, 165 points.


Image via FIA Formula 2 Media

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Ahmad Shallouf

Contributing Writer at MotorsportM8