Artem Markelov will remain with the Russian Time squad for a fifth campaign in Formula 2, where he will be joined by series newcomer Tadasuke Makino.

Russian Time had originally been omitted from the 2018 entry list as the series welcomed new teams, but found its way back onto the grid and will take up #1 and #2 as the reigning series champion.

Markelov joined the Russian team in 2014 while the series was under its GP2 guise and has gone on to become a multiple race winner and title contender, finishing second overall in 2017.

“We had a strong season in 2017 when I won five times and finished second to Charles Leclerc in the championship, so it would be nice to go one better.” said the 23-year-old.

Markelov will be joined by Makino, who graduates from European Formula 3 having competed in one season for Hitech GP. The 20-year-old finished as runner-up in the 2015 F4 Japanese Championship.

“I started karting at five and always had a dream to race in motorsport’s top category,” said Makino.

“I am now another step closer to that. I’m really looking forward to racing with last year’s champion team, Russian Time.

“Thank you to all the fans and everyone who has supported me. I’m hoping to meet everyone’s expectations.”

Russian Time is the fifth team to confirm its full driver line-up, with Arden International and Campos Racing having announced one driver each. DAMS, MP Motorsport and Trident are yet to announce any drivers.