Markelov joins BWT Arden; Nakayama returns to Super Formula

Artem Markelov will return to Formula 2 after a difficult tenure in Super Formula with Team Le Mans. © Japan Race Promotion Co. Ltd.

BWT Arden have announce Artem Markelov as their second driver for the final two rounds of the 2019 FIA Formula 2 Championship.

The 25-year-old will join Tatiana Calderon for the final two rounds in Sochi, Russia and Yas Marina, Abu Dhabi respectively.

Markelov first raced in Formula 2 – then known as GP2 Series – in 2014 and contested five full seasons. In that time, the Russian achieved nine race wins, and an additional eight podium finishes.

Furthermore, in 2017, Markelov finished as runner-up in the championship to current Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc.

More recently, he stood in for Jordan King at MP Motorsport earlier this year in Monaco.

Markelov will run with the No.22 out of respect for Anthoine Hubert, whose No.19 was retired following his fatal accident at Spa-Francorchamps.

BWT Arden will run two cars in Formula 2 for the first time since Anthoine Hubert’s fatal crash at Spa-Francorchamps. © Arden Motorsport

“First of all, I want to give my best to the family of Anthoine,” Markelov said.

“The 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.”

Markelov added: “Thanks to the team for trusting me in this situation and I’m going to do my best for them. We are going to drive together in memory in Anthonie.”

“I’m really happy I’ll be driving for BWT Arden for the rest of the championship.”

“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.”

Nakayama Replaces Markelov at Team Le Mans

Super GT driver Yuichi Nakayama will replace Artem Markelov for this weekend’s Super Formula race at Okayama. © Toyota Motor Corporation.

As a result of his Formula 2 return, Artem Markelov won’t race in Super Formula this weekend.

In response, Team Le Mans’ Tatsuya Kataoka has hired Yuichi Nakayama to race alongside Kazuya Oshima in Okayama.

Speaking via his Twitter page, Nakayama said the following:

“Thanks to Team Le Mans, TRD and Toyota Motors for allowing me to participate in this weekend’s Super Formula race at Okayama.”

“I’m very happy to be driving the [Dallara] SF19! I want to race as hard as possible until the finish!”

Yuichi Nakayama won the Japanese Formula 3 title in 2013, earning a move to Super Formula with KCMG.

Across three full seasons, Nakayama only scored 1.5 points, courtesy of a sixth-place finish at Suzuka in 2015. At the start of 2018, KCMG replaced him with Kamui Kobayashi.

Nakayama’s most recent Super Formula appearance was with KCMG at Motegi in 2018, due to Kobayashi’s WEC commitments with Toyota.

On the other hand, Nakayama has experienced more success in Super GT.

Over the last four season, he has achieved seven wins in the GT300 class and finished as runner-up in 2016.

This year, Nakayama moved up to the GT500 class and won at Autopolis alongside former F1 driver Heikki Kovalainen.

Nakayama’s drive with Team Le Mans in Okayama is believed to be a one-off deal. As a result, Markelov is expected to return for the season finale at Suzuka.