Artem Markelov wins incredible F2 Feature Race at the Monaco GP
Norris comes from 17th to sixth to extend championship lead as rivals crash out
By William Esler
Last Updated: 25/05/18 5:00pm
Artem Markelov won an F2 Feature Race in Monaco which few superlatives can describe.
There were 42 laps of non-stop action and drama, with crashes at the start, drivers in the wall, drive-through penalties and the leaders taking each other in the pits!
For anyone who says you cannot overtake in Monaco, second-placed Sean Gelael gained 10 places, Louis Deletraz 10 places to fourth and Lando Norris 11 places to go from 17th on the grid to sixth at the flag.
There was drama as soon as the lights went out as Antonio Fuoco squeezed Luca Ghiotto into the wall on the run to Turn One, and the Ferrari junior was given a drive-through penalty.
Trying to work his way up from 16th on the grid, George Russell's race came to an end on lap seven when he understeered into the wall at La Rascasse while attempting to overtake Nirei Fukuzumi.
There was drama for another British driver a couple of laps later when Norris hit Ralph Boschung at Anthony Noghes. Boschung was struggling for grip on slow tyres and after a snap of oversteer for the Swiss driver exiting La Rascasse, Norris dived to the inside at the final turn, knocking the MP Motorsport car into the wall.
Norris was handed a drive-through penalty for the incident.
That incident caused a Safety Car and the race took another remarkable twist under caution conditions when leader Alexander Albon and second-placed Nyck de Vries collided on pit entry. The contact would put both drivers out of the race.
Albon was handed a five-place grid penalty for Saturday's Sprint Race for causing the collision.
That left Norris as the only drive in the top five in the championship heading to Monaco still in the race. Despite his drive-through penalty, he recovered to sixth at the flag to extend his championship lead.
The battle for the eventual victory was a story of two converging strategies as Gelael pitted early and tried to undercut those ahead, while Markelov ran long, pitting for supersofts at the end.
When the Russian made his stop, he had just enough of an advantage to stay ahead of the Prema driver and with fresh tyres, Markelov was able to ease out an advantage over Gelael to take his second win of the season.
Roberto Merhi was third to take his first F2 podium finish.
The reverse grid Sprint Race is live on Sky Sports F1 at 4:20pm on Saturday.