Russian Time announces 2017 drivers
RUSSIAN TIME re-signs Markelov, and welcomes Ghiotto
RUSSIAN TIME heads into the 13th GP2 season with a new line-up comprising 22-year-old Russian Artem Markelov and Italian 21-year-old Luca Ghiotto.
Markelov and Ghiotto were both top 10 championship finishers in the 2016 series, with Artem winning the Monaco feature race and finishing on the podium in the season finale at Yas Marina. Luca, meanwhile, finished runner-up in the Hockenheim feature event and claimed four podiums in all, including a win at Sepang en route to his 111 points.
Both men have impressive records in the junior racing categories, with Markelov a former runner-up in the German F3 championship and Ghiotto vice-champion in both Formula Abarth and Formula Renault 2.0 before taking pole position at Spa on his GP3 debut. His 2015 GP3 campaign saw him finish runner-up to current Force India F1 driver Esteban Ocon, beaten by eight points despite five victories and eight podiums.
"We made an important step last year," Markelov said, "with a win and a top 10 finish in the championship. The GP2 series is highly competitive and I’m looking forward to doing even better in 2017 and challenging for more wins and hopefully becoming a consistent front-runner."
Speaking about the season ahead, Ghiotto said: "Let me firstly thank all at RUSSIAN TIME for the great opportunity they have offered me. Having crossed their cars a few times in 2016, I know how good they are! I think we have great potential to develop together. I’m looking forward to working with my new team mate Artem, and can’t wait to hit the track in March to start work."
Team principal Svetlana Strelnikova added: "I’m delighted to be able to announce such a promising line-up that will hopefully allow us to challenge for the teams’ championship that we won in 2013. The fact that four different teams have claimed the title in the past four seasons is a good illustration of just how competitive the series is. We are all hugely looking forward to it."