The FIA Formula 2 Championship driver Artem Markelov will make his Formula 1 weekend debut in his home grand prix in Russia.

The test and development driver will get his maiden FP1 chance with Renault in the Russian GP at Sochi replacing Carlos Sainz in the RS18. This will be the Russian’s second time in the car after taking part in the in-season Hungaroring test.

“This is the best early birthday present I could get and I am determined to make the most of this opportunity,” said Markelov. “Being part of Renault Sport Formula One Team has helped me as a racing driver so to be able to put these lessons into practice in Sochi is a tremendous honour.”

Renault’s Cyril Abiteboul added: “We are happy to give Artem this opportunity behind the wheel of the Renault R.S.18 at his home Grand Prix. Artem has shown on and off track this year that he is a valuable team member.

“Artem was able to prove at the in-season test in Budapest that he deserved this opportunity and we are looking forward to seeing him in action for FP1 at Sochi.” The 23-year-old will dovetail the weekend with his F2 drive.

The Russian is in his fifth (GP2/F2) junior formulae season with Russian Time and sits fifth in the 2018 drivers’ standings with 128 points. The FP1 run comes at a good time for the youngster who is linked for a F1 debut in 2019 with Williams.