Bahrain F2: Artem Markelov wins race two in Bahrain

Artem Markelov pulled off a composed drive to win the first Formula 2 sprint race of the season, as Prema Racing's strategy gamble failed to pay off

Bahrain F2: Artem Markelov wins race two in Bahrain

Prema attempted to repeat its successful tactic from last year's race, pitting race leader Nyck de Vries early on in an attempt to avoid suffering heavy tyre degradation.

De Vries took the lead from the start, passing reverse grid pole-sitter Maximilian Gunther, while Sean Gelael - de Vries' Prema team-mate - stalled on the grid for the formation lap from second.

De Vries controlled the early running but pitted on lap nine of 23, handing the lead to the Russian Time car of Markelov, who maintained a gap of around two seconds over the field at a track where he has become a master of tyre management.

Gunther had a rollercoaster race; at one-point he locked up twice in one lap, after he appeared to be struggling with the tyres.

It looked like a foregone conclusion he would surrender second place to a pair of preying Carlin drivers, but a couple of composed laps allowed him to pull away to secure the position on his debut weekend in F2.

Sergio Sette Camara and Saturday's feature race winner Lando Norris battled hard in the last five laps, a robust defence from Camara at Turn 4 denying Norris.

Norris suffered a misfire in the race, which cost him a place in the early running and happened at the worst possible place, exiting the final corner.

De Vries recovered to fifth, failing to repeat the victory his team pulled with Charles Leclerc last year with the same strategy.

Luca Ghiotto started 12th, but made up ground at the start, he worked his way forward and took sixth after deciding not to make a pitstop.

Ralph Boschung came off the worst in a battle with Antonio Fuoco's Charouz Racing System car in a brilliant early battle, but when the latter pitted, MP Motorsport man Boschung sat in sixth. After being passed by the recovering de Vries, he finished seventh.

Nirei Fukuzumi started 18th for Arden, but showed similarly impressive pace to his team-mate Gunther as he took eighth, ahead of the second-highest pitstop finisher, Louis Deletraz.

Nicholas Latifi recovered from a pre-race stall to round out the top 10, while team-mate Alexander Albon's fifth-place start yielded 13th after a poor getaway.

It was a nightmare race for ART, as reigning GP3 champion George Russell and team-mate Jack Aitken both stalled on the grid.

Russell's pace was similar to the leaders but the damage was done and he was at the back of the field, finishing a lap down in 19th, one spot behind Aitken.

Race result

Pos Driver Team Laps Gap
1 Artem Markelov RUSSIAN TIME 23 42m42.161s
2 Maximilian Guenther BWT Arden 23 2.105s
3 Sergio Sette Camara Carlin 23 3.803s
4 Lando Norris Carlin 23 5.043s
5 Nyck de Vries Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 23 10.265s
6 Luca Ghiotto Campos Vexatec Racing 23 15.696s
7 Ralph Boschung MP Motorsport 23 23.511s
8 Nirei Fukuzumi BWT Arden 23 24.582s
9 Louis Deletraz Charouz Racing System 23 25.194s
10 Nicholas Latifi DAMS 23 25.687s
11 Roberto Merhi MP Motorsport 23 25.804s
12 Antonio Fuoco Charouz Racing System 23 26.638s
13 Alexander Albon DAMS 23 31.759s
14 Arjun Maini Trident 23 36.793s
15 Roy Nissany Campos Vexatec Racing 23 43.989s
16 Sean Gelael Pertamina Prema Theodore Racing 23 57.845s
17 Tadasuke Makino RUSSIAN TIME 23 1m03.819s
18 Jack Aitken ART Grand Prix 23 1m39.757s
19 George Russell ART Grand Prix 22 1 Lap
20 Santino Ferrucci Trident 22 1 Lap


shares
comments
F2 Bahrain: Lando Norris takes dominant win in season opener

Previous article

F2 Bahrain: Lando Norris takes dominant win in season opener

Next article

McLaren junior Norris: Carlin winning on F2 return a big achievement

McLaren junior Norris: Carlin winning on F2 return a big achievement
Load comments

About this article

Series FIA F2
Drivers Artem Markelov
Author Jack Benyon
The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive Plus

The F1 hopeful living two lives to keep his dream alive

Having lost his backing from Red Bull, Richard Verschoor has had to graft to continue his ascent up the single-seater ladder. An impressive Formula 2 debut in Bahrain, despite the lateness of his deal, shows his unorthodox approach is paying dividends

FIA F2
Apr 22, 2021
Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success? Plus

Was Formula 2’s radical format switch a success?

Going into the 2021 Formula 2 season the biggest talking point wasn’t about any drivers or teams, but the new race weekend format. Created partly out of financial necessity but also to spice up the action, the Bahrain opener provided a snapshot of the positives and negatives to come

FIA F2
Apr 4, 2021
Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs Plus

Why 2021 is make-or-break for the driver F1 needs

He was tipped for glory in FIA Formula 2 last year, but was hampered by reliability woes at inopportune moments. Guanyu Zhou knows he won't get too many more chances if he is to become China's first F1 driver, with fierce competition within the ranks of Alpine's junior stable

FIA F2
Mar 25, 2021
How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance Plus

How Schumacher Jr earned his Haas F1 chance

Michael Schumacher may have won seven Formula 1 titles, but he didn't even compete for a crown at the second tier. Son Mick put that right in 2020, and proved to Ferrari that he was deserving of a shot at motorsport's elite category in 2021

FIA F2
Jan 9, 2021
The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make Plus

The quintet giving Ferrari a tough decision to make

The Ferrari Driver Academy earned a podium sweep in the first Formula 2 race of the new decade in Austria last weekend. The battle between 'the FDA five' is set to be one of the major subplots of the season, but who has the best F1 prospects for 2021?

FIA F2
Jul 8, 2020
The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong Plus

The Williams junior determined to prove Red Bull wrong

Dropped by his team in Japan and by Red Bull, Dan Ticktum's single-seater career seemed to be over last summer. But now he's on the Formula 2 grid with the reigning champion team, and he's a new protege of Williams. How did that happen?

FIA F2
Mar 20, 2020
The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe Plus

The controversial weekend that ended an American's dream in Europe

OPINION: In the latest in our series of features looking back the recently concluded 2010s, we recall one of the many sagas of the 2018 Formula 2 season, which featured unusual fines and an unsavoury clash between team-mates

FIA F2
Jan 3, 2020
The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status Plus

The year Leclerc fully revealed his star status

In the latest feature in our series looking back on the 2010s, we revisit Charles Leclerc's sensational Formula 2 season - where he strode among on-track highs and lows, as well as tragedy away from motorsport, to earn a place on the Formula 1 grid

FIA F2
Dec 26, 2019