Rowland keeps win after stewards’ investigation over clash

Renault Formula 1 development driver Oliver Rowland will keep his Hungary Formula 2 feature race win after an investigation into Artem Markelov’s dramatic crash.

Rowland keeps win after stewards’ investigation over clash
Winner Oliver Rowland, DAMS
Artem Markelov, RUSSIAN TIME
Winner Oliver Rowland, DAMS, second place Nicholas Latifi
Press conference: second place qualifying for Oliver Rowland, DAMS
Podium: winner Oliver Rowland, DAMS, second place Nicholas Latifi, DAMS, third place Nyck De Vries, Rapax
Winner Oliver Rowland, DAMS
Press conference: third place qualifying for Artem Markelov, RUSSIAN TIME
Winner Oliver Rowland, DAMS, second place Nicholas Latifi
Luca Ghiotto, RUSSIAN TIME
Oliver Rowland, DAMS

The British driver was leading the first race at the Hungaroring with three laps to go when Markelov attacked on the pit straight using DRS.

Rowland moved to the right and as Markelov closed in rapidly, the Russian driver went onto the grass, lost control and crashed backwards into the Turn 1 barrier.

Markelov climbed gingerly out of the wreckage as the medical team attended the scene but is expected to be fit to compete tomorrow.

The race ended behind the safety car, and Rowland faced an investigation into his move but the stewards decided he had not broken a rule and will therefore keep his second F2 feature race win of 2017.

“He got a pretty good run out of the last corner, I was struggling a bit with the tyres,” Rowland explained. “I defended to the inside – I’m not really sure where he was trying to go.

“The rule is if you have any part of the car alongside then you’ve got to leave one car [width] but he was still behind me when I closed the gap. From my side of things I didn’t go away from the rules – I don’t think I did anything wrong.

“It’s never nice to finish a race like that and I’m quite good friends with Artem and it’s never nice to see someone else not finish.”

“I was just a passenger”

Markelov, who left the track soon after being checked by medical staff, did not blame Rowland for the crash.

“It’s racing, I saw the opportunity, had DRS, and just went for it because we definitely had winning speed,” he said in a statement. “Rowland went right but I was committed the same way and ended up on the grass, after which I was just a passenger. 

“He was never going to open the door, so I don’t blame him, I blame myself.”

Russian Time team principal Svetlana Strelnikova accepted the stewards’ decision but still felt Rowland’s move was over the line.

“It was under the rules but it was too tough – too hard – because Artem was much faster because he had DRS,” she told Motorsport.com. “But the main thing is Artem feels OK because the crash was really big for him.

“Of course [we accept the decision] – Artem admits himself that he was too optimistic.”  

When asked if Markelov would be fit to race tomorrow, Strelnikova said: “I think so, yes, the doctors said yes.”

DAMS handed 1-2 by incident

DAMS team boss Francois Sicard lamented the ending to the race, which resulted in a double podium for the French squad as Nicholas Latifi finished second behind Rowland.

He said: “What happened is unfortunate, we never like to finish a race like this as it’s been such good competition between Artem and Oliver, and Russian Time and DAMS.

“We hope Artem will recover well and soon.” 

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Hungary F2: Rowland takes dramatic win as Markelov crashes
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