Artem Markelov interview

Artem Markelov interview

24.09.2018: Artem Markelov joined Renault Sport Formula One Team as Test & Development Driver ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 season alongside racing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship. He tested contemporary Formula 1 machinery for the first time in August in the

Artem Markelov joined Renault Sport Formula One Team as Test & Development Driver ahead of the 2018 Formula 1 season alongside racing in the FIA Formula 2 Championship.



He tested contemporary Formula 1 machinery for the first time in August in the official post-Hungary test and now is gearing up for his second outing in the Renault R.S.18 at his home Grand Prix in Russia, where he’ll take over from Carlos Sainz for Free Practice 1 at the Sochi Autodrom.



Artem also has Formula 2 duties on the same weekend. He sits fourth in the standings with three wins and a further three podiums to his name so far in 2018.



The 24-year-old is aiming to add to that tally at his home round, as he discusses his thoughts ahead of the weekend as well as Formula 1’s growth in Russia.




How excited are you for Sochi?



I’m excited for the weekend, but there’s going to be a lot of pressure from the fans, friends and family because there will be a lot of people who haven’t seen me race live before. I’m really looking forward to it, but I need to calm down and focus on doing my job well.




How well do you know the Sochi Autodrom?


I don’t know the circuit so well, as I’ve only done two race weekends there and that was at the start of my GP2 career. The results weren’t great, so this year I aim to do well.





Are you excited to drive the Renault R.S.18 in Free Practice?



It’s going to be very special, especially as it’s my first Free Practice session in Formula 1. I’ve already done the young driver test at the Hungaroring in August, which was amazing, but this is going to be another really nice experience for me as I’ll be working closely with the team at a Grand Prix for the first time.


 I’ll be aiming to understand everything, take it a step at a time and then try to improve the car for the guys ahead of the rest of the weekend. Hopefully I can contribute to a successful weekend, that would be nice.





What are the targets for the two Formula 2 races?


Of course, I will be aiming for a couple of home wins. That would be good in front of the Russian crowd. To be on the podium would be great, but to be on the top step would be extra special.





How busy are you going to be away from the circuit?


It’s going to be a full-on weekend, but I’m ready for that. I enjoy working with the media and marketing guys. It’s a different side of racing and they are there to give me as much exposure as possible. I’m looking forward to meeting people and doing my job.





How big is Formula 1 in Russia?



It’s getting better and better every year. Hopefully, in five more years, more Russian people will understand properly what Formula 1 is about and how it works.



It would be even better to have Russian drivers at the top and one day that will be my goal, not only to be in Formula 1, but competing for championships.






- Renault Sport also photos Formula 2

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24.09.2018 / MaP

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