Second in last year’s Formula 2 Championship Artem Markelow was representing Renault during the Wednesday’s F1 test day at the Hungaroring. During the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend he spoke with ŚwiatWyścigów.pl’s Roksana Ćwik.
Artem, you will be testing an F1 car in Budapest, how does it feel?
I’ve already driven R.S.16 during a private test, which was pretty exciting and everything went well, so hopefully everything will be even better this time.
Do you think your dream will come true and you will race in F1?
Hopefully yes and hopefully next year, but I don’t know what will be.
Last year you had a pretty serious accident at the Hungaroring. Do you think your rivals will be more tamed this time?
Of course they will not be making the same mistakes as last year but I’m trying to push just as much as before.
A lot of fans were left impressed with your passing manoeuvres, especially recently. Do you think you can be a role model for young drivers?
Hopefully they will learn something from my overtakes, but we are just Formula 2 drivers and our idols in F1 are showing young drivers how to drive and what to do and not to do.
How do you feel being the first winner of the current Formula 2 series?
It’s great! I’m now in the history and that’s a really great feeling, just like when I became the first Russian to win in Monaco.
That win came from 15th on the grid…
The team did a pretty nice job coming up with a great strategy, so I could just get in the rhythm and try to get the best lap time out of every lap and the result was there.
There were a lot of problems with the new car this year. Have they been solved?
They are trying to improve it and we appreciate it as with those issues it has become a cars’ championship and with the improvements and new clutches it will come back to being a drivers’ series.
What do you think about the rolling starts?
They would be better if we were starting side-by-side like in GT racing or IndyCar, because when we were running nose-to-tail, some groups could get a better start and some could be sleeping and that’s really hard to manage, so I prefer the standing starts.
F2 introduced the Halo system this year, what’s your view on it?
It’s not disturbing a lot. It might be slightly noticeable on the straights, but it’s not constraining too much.
Do you prefer the main races or the sprints?
I like the main races more because the reverse grid in the sprints make it too easy for the drivers. The sprints can also be become hard when the driver on pole is always finishing P8 or is a rookie and have to withstand the pressure of having 20 cars behind them…
What’s your opinion on Virtual Safety Car?
I think it gives more chances to overtake because during a normal safety car everyone would just follow each other at the same speed and during the VSC you can make a gap and prepare your tyres for the restart so you are up to speed much faster.
Finally, do you prefer dry or wet races?