Super Formula racer Artem Markelov will re-join the FIA Formula 2 Championship this weekend, replacing the late Anthoine Hubert at Arden.
Markelov moved to Japan’s Super Formula Championship this year but has struggled to adapt to the category since his move to the Far East.
With a best finish of 10th and a single fastest lap at the previous round at Motegi, the Russian racer has yet to register a point and currently sits 19th in the Super Formula standings, ahead of just Pato O’Ward and Harrison Newey.
Team LeMans have not yet announced a replacement, or even if they do intend to replace him.
Expectations had been high for Markelov, marking this as a particularly disappointing season for the 25-year-old. With rumours of a fractured relationship between the driver and his Team LeMans squad, it was already unclear as to whether the relationship would continue into 2020.
A five-year veteran of the F2 championship (previously GP2), Markelov competed in 112 races in the category – 110 of which were for Russian Time – winning nine of them and finishing runner-up to Charles Leclerc in 2017.
For this year’s round at Monaco, Markelov stood in for Jordan King at MP Motorsport, who was competing at the Indianapolis 500.
As of this year, Markelov has 62 Super Licence points, although this will drop to 60 in 2020, when his 2016 GP2 finish drops from contention.
Although apparently dispensed with for the previous round at Monza due to ongoing investigations by Belgian police, there are reportedly financial penalties for teams that do not field two cars for Formula 2 race meetings.
As the season now moves toward its conclusion, it is likely that this dispensation has passed, so a full field is expected for the rounds at Sochi and Abu Dhabi.