Renault Sport Formula One Team is delighted to announce that its Test & Development Driver, Artem Markelov, will drive for the team at the VTB Russian Grand Prix, taking the place of Carlos Sainz for FP1 at the Sochi Autodrom.
Currently fifth in the FIA Formula 2 Championship, Artem will combine his FP1 duties in Sochi with the penultimate round of this season’s Formula 2 season, also taking place at Sochi on the same weekend. He aims to add to his three wins in 2018, claimed in Bahrain, Monaco and Austria, at his home round.
Artem is a frequent visitor to the Renault Sport Formula One Team simulator at Enstone, England, and is also part of a development programme which includes running in the team’s 2016 car, the R.S.16. He will celebrate his 24th birthday on September 10th, two weeks before he gets behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.18.
Cyril Abiteboul, Managing Director, Renault Sport Racing:
"We are happy to give Artem this opportunity behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.18 at his home Grand Prix. Artem has shown on and off track this year that he is a valuable team member. Artem was able to prove at the in-season test in Budapest that he deserved this opportunity and we are looking forward to seeing him in action for FP1 at Sochi."
Artem Markelov, Test & Development Driver, Renault Sport Formula One Team:
"This is the best early birthday present I could get and I am determined to make the most of this opportunity. Being part of Renault Sport Formula One Team has helped me as a racing driver so to be able to put these lessons into practice in Sochi is a tremendous honour."
Artem Markelov Profile
Moscow-born Artem Markelov joined Renault Sport Formula One Team as the team’s Test & Development Driver at the start of 2018. Artem, runner-up in the 2017 FIA Formula 2 Championship with Russian Time, is contesting his fifth season in the Formula 1 feeder series in 2018.
Date of Birth: 10 September 1994
Place of Birth: Moscow, Russia
Test & Development Driver for Renault Sport Formula One Team, alongside racing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Russian Time.
Artem secured his best season in single-seaters in 2017, claiming second place in the FIA Formula 2 Championship with Russian Time who were crowned Team Champions courtesy of a healthy 210-point contribution from the 23-year-old. Artem won five races last season, including at the season opener in Bahrain, the Sprint race in Austria, the Feature in Spa and back-to-back victories at the final two rounds in Jerez and Abu Dhabi.
In 2016, Artem finished his third year in the GP2 Series in 9th place taking two podiums along the way, including his first GP2 win, which came in a dramatic Monaco Feature race. From 15th on the grid, Artem played the patient game, benefitting from several safety cars, before pipping Norman Nato by 1.5s at the flag. A number of fourth and fifth places kept Artem well in the top ten of the championship, and he capped the year off with a third place at the final round in Abu Dhabi.
Artem recorded his first GP2 podium in 2015 on the way to finishing 13th in the Drivers’ standings. He took third place in the Feature race in Spa, round seven, after starting from 22nd. Fifth place finishes in the Belgium Sprint race and Monza Feature solidified the Russian’s spot in his second year of running in GP2.
2014 saw Artem make the step up from German Formula 3 to GP2 with Russian Time. He endured a tough season, acclimatising to the bigger, faster cars whilst racing in a series which ran on 11 Grand Prix circuits. His best result came in the Hungary Sprint race where he finished seventh.
Artem finished fourth in the 2011 ADAC Formel Masters with Motopark, taking one win from 23 races. 2012 saw him move to German Formula 3 with Lotus finishing 7th in his rookie year, claiming two victories in the process. A year later he finished runner-up in the same series, recording 339 points courtesy of an excellent run of results which saw him take 21 podiums from 26 races including two wins.