The Russian Time team has been reinstated to the FIA Formula 2 Championship’s entry list, allowing the outfit to defend the Teams’ Championship title it won in 2017.

The Russian squad was initially left off the provisional 2018 entry list released last November, but will now contest its sixth season in Formula 1’s feeder series.

Russian Time is still to confirm its 2018 driving line-up, although it is expected to retain Artem Marelov (pictured above) in one of its seats. It did also give GP3 Series race-winner Arjun Maini and 2017 European Formula 3 driver Tadasuke Makino a run during the end-of-year test at Abu Dhabi.

Series organisers have also confirmed that Racing Engineering and Fortec Motorsports – the latter one of two new teams entering the series – will not enter the 2018 season, with the entry list featuring ten teams.

The news brings Racing Engineering’s 13-year spell in the GP2 Series and Formula 2 to an end. The Spanish outfit peaked by winning two Drivers’ Championship titles with Giorgio Pantano (2008) and Fabio Leimer (2013).

The team is instead focusing its efforts on the European Le Mans Series championship, where it will enter an ORECA 07-Gibson with former driver Norman Nato confirmed in its line-up.

“I would like to thank [team principal] Alfonso de Orleans-Borbon and the whole Racing Engineering team for their dedication and hard work over the years,” Formula 2 CEO Bruno Michel said in tribute to the Spanish team.

“I’m looking forward to renewing our fruitful collaboration in the near future.

“I’m also sorry to see Fortec Motorsports step back this season, but this was a joint decision. We will reconsider their entry when the conditions are more favourable.”

The season-opening round of the 2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship takes place during the Bahrain Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend on April 7-8.

2018 FIA Formula 2 Championship – Provisional Entry List
Team Drivers
Russian Time TBA TBA
Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing it Sean Gelael Nyck de Vries
ART Grand Prix fr Jack Aitken uk George Russell uk
MP Motorsport TBA TBA
BWT Arden International uk TBA Nirei Fukuzumi
Campos Vexatec Racing es Luca Ghiotto it TBA
Trident it TBA TBA
Carlin uk Lando Norris Sergio Sette Câmara
Charouz Racing System cz Louis Delétraz Antonio Fuoco

Image via FIA Formula 2 Championship

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Geoff Burke

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