Markelov snatches victory in Sprint Race
8 October 2017 – Russian Time's Artem Markelov claimed victory in the Formula 2 Sprint Race at Jerez, with high tyre degradation levels leading to varying strategies.
Markelov held third for much of the race but pounced on Nicholas Latifi and Álex Palou in the space of a few corners to move ahead.
Palou had led the opening 23 laps from pole position but the debutant struggled during the closing stages amid high tyre wear in hot weather at the Spanish venue.
Markelov, third in a closely-contested lead train, dived to the inside of Latifi on the run to Turn 1 on lap 23 of 28, before utilising superior traction through Turn 5 to snatch the lead into Dry Sac.
Latifi spent an additional lap working his way past Palou, by which time Markelov had moved four seconds clear up front, and cruised to victory.
Latifi and Oliver Rowland rounded out the podium positions for DAMS, as all bar one of the remaining points scorers opted to make a pit-stop.
Luca Ghiotto took a fine fourth in a topsy-turvy race; having been punted wide at the start, he dropped down the order, before carving his way forward on Primes, and then Options.
Antonio Fuoco and Charles Leclerc spent much of the race battling one another and the newly-crowned champion had led the Option runners, before he hit the cliff late on.
Leclerc started the final lap in fourth but slipped to seventh at the flag, having been overhauled by Ghiotto and Fuoco, before Nyck de Vries out dragged him exiting the last corner.
Palou, having led much of the race, narrowly held off Alexander Albon to take the final point for eighth.
1. Charles Leclerc - 249 points
2. Oliver Rowland - 189 points
3. Artem Markelov - 177 points
The final round of the Formula 2 championship takes place in Abu Dhabi from November 24-26