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Russian Time to run Ghiotto and Markelov in 2017 GP2 Series

Luca Ghiotto

Luca Ghiotto will partner Artem Markelov at Russian Time in the 2017 GP2 Series.

After finishing runner-up to Esteban Ocon in GP3 in 2015, Ghiotto had a strong GP2 rookie season with Trident last year that included a Sepang sprint race win.

There were initially doubts over whether he would be able to continue in the series, but on Wednesday Russian Time announced him as its replacement for Raffaele Marciello.

"Let me firstly thank all at Russian Time for the great opportunity they have offered me," Ghiotto said.

"Having crossed their cars a few times in 2016, I know how good they are.

"I think we have great potential to develop together."

Artem Markelov, Russian Time, GP2 2016

Ghiotto's team-mate Markelov will remain at Russian Time for a fourth straight year, having claimed his maiden win in Monaco in 2016.

The Russian team won the teams' championship on its GP2 debut in 2013 with Sam Bird and Tom Dillmann and was third in last year's standings.

Team boss Svetlana Strelnikova added: "I'm delighted to be able to announce such a promising line-up that will hopefully allow us to challenge for the teams' championship that we won in 2013.

"The fact that four different teams have claimed the title in the past four seasons is a good illustration of just how competitive the series is. We are all hugely looking forward to it."

2017 GP2 LINE-UP SO FAR

Prema: Charles Leclerc, Antonio Fuoco
Racing Engineering: Gustav Malja, Louis Deletraz
Russian Time: Luca Ghiotto, Artem Markelov
ART Grand Prix: Nobuharu Matsushita, TBA
DAMS: Oliver Rowland, Nicholas Latifi
MP Motorsport: Sergio Sette Camara, Jordan King
Arden: Norman Nato, Sean Gelael

Yet to announce drivers: Campos, Trident, Rapax

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