Artem Markelov takes Bahrain sprint race victory

Russian Time's Artem Markelov claimed victory in the opening Formula 2 sprint race of the season in Bahrain on Sunday.

Nyck de Vries led from the start, passing reverse grid pole-sitter Maximilian Gunther, and controlled the race during the opening laps before making an early stop.

Markelov took over the lead with Gunther behind, but the BWT Arden driver was struggling with his tyres as he locked up twice on a single lap, putting the chasing pack right on his rear-wing.

However he managed to open up a gap to the chasing Carlins and maintained second place until the chequered flag, with Sergio Sette Camara leading home Carlin team-mate Lando Norris in third and fourth.

Norris could have made the podium had it not been for a misfire exiting the final corner which compromised his straight-line speed.

De Vries meanwhile recovered to fifth after the team's strategy of pitting early failed to pay off – a strategy that worked for the team last year with Charles Leclerc.

Luca Ghiotto made up several positions from his 12th place start to finish sixth ahead of MP Motorsport's Ralph Boschung and BWT Arden's Nirei Fukuzumi.

Louis Deletraz and Nicholas Latifi completed the top ten.

Reigning GP3 champion George Russell suffered an awful race as both he and team-mate Jack Aitken stalled on the grid, dropping them to the back where they finished with only Santino Ferrucci for company, both a lap down.