Formula 1 teams usually give Friday practices to their young drivers from Formula 2. Today at Sochi some of them participated in the first session. Sergio Perez from Force India gave way his seat to the development driver of the team Nicholas Latifi. In McLaren next year rookie Lando Norris replaced Fernando Alonso. And as it was predictable, Sauber gave an opportunity to try F1 car to Antonio Giovinazzi.
Test-driver of Renault F1 team the Russian Artem Markelov also took a part in the practice, in front of the home stands. According to Markelov, the session was quite successful as for him as for the team. They tried different tyres’ strategies and made some aero tests.
“Our main tasks in Friday session were some of aero tests, and they all went quite successful. Also, we tried some different tyres’ strategies. We didn’t like so much one of the last, because the tyres burnt out. So, that’s why I’ve lost a lot of time in the end of the session”, - said Markelov.
“In general, the practice was good. The team and me are pretty happy with it. I completed all tasks that were required of me. Hope I will back into the seat soon”.
Carlos Sainz arrived in Sochi with some infection. As Markelov said, he is always ready to replace one of Renault driver for the race, but of course, he wishes Carlos will recover soon.
“Yes, I thought about it [replace Sainz]. But I can’t say anything. I wish Carlos will get well soon. But if I have to go to his seat, I won’t be against it”.
The popular topic among Russian fans and journalist is Artem’s moving to Formula 1 team. But, as always, there is still nothing clear.
“I don’t know if there are any chances with Renault. It’s quite simple – yes or no. News should be expected in about a month. I hope I will know about it too”.
Meanwhile, Atrem Markelov has two races in Formula 2 championship: his home Grand Prix in Sochi and the finale in Yas Marina. And Artem is sure he still has an opportunity to fight for the title.
“We still have an opportunity to fight for the championship. We are going to do the maximum to achieve our goal”.