Artem Markelov joins Toyota in Super Formula for 2019

Formula 2 veteran Artem Markelov will link up with Toyota to race in the Japan-based Super Formula championship.

The Russian driver has spent the past five seasons in the GP2/F2 category with the Russian Time team; his best season came in 2017, in which he finished runner-up to new Ferrari F1 racer Charles Leclerc.

Markelov took nine wins during his spell in the championship, twice triumphing in the Monaco Feature Race, in 2016 and 2018 respectively.

Markelov will drive for the Toyota-affiliated outfit 'Team LeMans', lining up alongside experienced Kazuya Oshima.

He will get the opportunity to test his skills against the likes of former Formula 1 racers in the form of Kamui Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima.

The 24-year had been linked to a seat at the Williams Formula 1 team, but 2018 F2 champion George Russell and the returning Robert Kubica ultimately secured the drives.

Markelov had been part of the Renault F1 team during 2018 as the team's development driver, appearing in an official session for the first time in FP1 at his home event in Sochi, and also participated in a handful of test days.