Raffaele Marciello and Artem Markelov have been announced as Russian Time's GP2 driver line-up for the 2016 season.

Former European Formula 3 champion Marciello is set for a third consecutive campaign in the GP2 Series after two top ten championship finishes, while the 21-year-old also acted as F1 team Sauber's test driver in 2015.

Marciello, who has one GP2 race win to his name coming in 2014's feature race at Spa, says he's thrilled to team up with Markelov and Russian Time and is focusing on a title fight this season.

"I'm delighted to join Russian Time, which impressively won the championship in its inaugural season," Marciello said. "I'm hoping that we can combine our experience to mount a consistent challenge for the top positions."

The Italian will partner Markelov who returns for a third straight campaign in GP2 with Russian Time. The Russian claimed a maiden GP2 rostrum last year in the feature race at Spa on his way to 13th in the championship.

Russian Time team principal Svetlana Strelnikova hopes the experience both drivers have gained in GP2 will enable the team to hit the ground running in the new season as it looks to return to the top of the F1 feeder series after claiming the 2013 title with Sam Bird.

"I'm delighted to welcome Raffaele to the team," Strelnikova said. "He has shown consistent speed and Artem has grown stronger as he got to grips with the category. I'm optimistic that with both drivers having two years' experience in F1's feeder formula, we will be able to mount a challenge in what is an ever more competitive series. I'm looking forward to it."



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