Russian Grand Prix – BWT Arden have signed Artem Markelov to take the late Anthoine Hubert’s seat, while Formula 2 has retired the #19.
BWT Arden have announced that F2 series veteran Artem Markelov will drive their second car for the remainder of this season as the team goes back to fielding two cars weeks after the accident that claimed the life of Anthoine Hubert.
Hubert’s tragic accident at Spa-Francorchamps in F2’s feature race that weekend resulted in Arden running just one car at Monza a week later – with Tatiana Calderon in her usual seat. However, with a few weeks break after Monza before the Russian round and the resumption of the F2 season, Arden have had time to find a stand-in for Hubert to complete the season as a two car outfit once again. Markelov will thus drive the final two rounds in Sochi and Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi.
Markelov has been away racing in Japan’s Super Formula this season, meeting with little success, having had five years of experience in F2/GP2 with Russian Time. He also made an appearance in F2 earlier this year, having driven for MP Motorsport for the Monaco round back in May. His return to F2 for the remainder of this season means he can’t take part in the Super Formula round at Okayama.
“Following on from recent tragic events and our return to Sochi as a two-car team, we are proud and humbled to have Artem join us for the remaining races of the season,” said Arden’s team manager Kenny Kirwan.
“Artem is a proven race winner in this category and we very much relish the opportunity to work together and to continue where we left off with Anthoine, who we miss very dearly.”
Markelov will race with the number 22 for Arden, with Hubert’s number 19 having been confirmed as retired for the remainder of the season.
“First of all, I want to give my best to the family of Anthoine,” Markelov said in a statement.
“This guy was not only a good driver, he was a great man who was happy all the time and always gave us a smile. He showed everyone his talent. Thanks to the team for trusting me in this situation and I’m going do my best for them. We are going to drive together in memory of Anthoine.
“I’m really happy I’ll be driving for BWT Arden for the rest of the championship.” Markelov continued.
“It’s a really nice opportunity to drive at my home grand prix again. I hope for a strong result and I’ll work hard to achieve it.”
This means the Formula 2 field will return to twenty cars in Russia. The Sauber Junior Team by Charouz will race with SMP Racing’s Matevos Issakyan in the car that was driven by Juan Manuel Correa this season – Correa continues to recover in hospital from serious injuries from the crash.
Trident are also back to two cars. Giuliano Alesi’s car was impounded after Belgium, meaning the team fielded a single car for Alesi in Italy. However, Ralph Boschung will be back in action alongside Alesi this weekend.