Markelov to skip Super Formula season finale

Artem Markelov will skip next weekend’s 2019 Super Formula title decider at Suzuka, with Yuichi Nakayama again being called up to replace the Russian driver.

Markelov joined the Japanese single-seater series at the start of the current season, ending a five-year stint in GP2/Formula 2 that yielded eight victories and a best finish of second in the drivers’ standings.

However, he found it difficult to adapt to Super Formula’s new SF19 car amid wider struggles for his Team LeMans outfit, and currently sits 21st in the standings with a single top-10 finish in five appearances.

The Russian driver missed the previous Super Formula race at Okayama and it has now been confirmed that he will not see out the season.

Markelov’s absence from Okayama was down to a clashing commitment in F2, the 25-year-old having signed a last-minute deal to replace the late Anthoine Hubert at Arden until the end of the season. 

Although the Super Formula title decider does not fall on the same weekend as the last round of the F2 season, Team LeMans has confirmed it will again field Nakayama in the second car alongside regular Kazuya Oshima.

Nakayama competed in Super Formula between 2014-16 with KCMG and finished 15th on his return with LeMans last month.

His primary 2019 programme is in SUPER GT, where he has scored a victory this year in the SARD Lexus car he shares with ex-Formula 1 driver Heikki Kovalainen.

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