Markelov to replace "strange" chassis for Monaco
Renault Formula 1 junior Artem Markelov will get a new Dallara F2 chassis for the this weekend's Monaco round in a bid to solve his poor qualifying form.
Markelov hasn’t qualified higher than 15th in the opening three rounds of the 2018 campaign at Bahrain, Barcelona and Baku, despite having only missed out on a top 10 spot twice in 2017.
“We think we have a big problem with the balance of the car,” the Russian Time driver told Motorsport.com.
“Hopefully we can improve it for Monaco, we will change the chassis. There is something strange, I’m one second behind the [lead] guys.
"When I am really pushing, I can find two or three tenths but it is really hard to catch a second.
“I think we have some problem with the car and we hope changing the car will fix it.”
Markelov, who is in his fifth season of F2/GP2, admitted that qualifying - which he described as being for “pussies” - is not the strongest part of his repertoire.
The 23-year-old came from the pitlane to score a podium in the Bahrain feature race after electrical problems marred his weekend, and he won the sprint race at the same track.
After retiring from both Baku races with engine trouble, he scored the reversed-grid pole in Barcelona having finished eighth in the feature race, only to fall back in the sprint race due to a set-up issue.
“It was really horrible set-up on the car,” added Markelov. “I had a lot of understeer on the entry of the corner. It wasn’t driveable.
“In the first few laps I was like a rookie from GP3, driving really carefully. It was just slow.
“When the track got drier the set-up started working. I tried to set better laptimes to catch the guys but it was f***ing late. I still had a lot of understeer and I couldn’t improve that during the race.”
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