Formula 1 hopeful and Renault junior, Artem Markelov’s father Valery has been arrested in his home country of Russia. The Basmanny District Court of Moscow approved the detention for Markelov Sr on Tuesday.
The approved motion is related to an alleged breach of Article 291, Section 5 the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, which covers bribery “committed on a very large scale”.
According to Russian news agency RIA, Markelov Sr is accused of giving bribes to former Ministry of Internal Affairs Colonel, Dmitry Zakharchenko, between 2007 and 2016. It also reported that Markelov Sr was initially detained in Sochi.
Markelov Jr, who joined Renault as test and development driver at the start of 2018, drove Carlos Sainz Jr’s RS18 in first practice at Sochi, placing 15th.
The 24-year-old is in his fifth full season in the GP2/F2 series, and finished runner-up to 2019 Ferrari F1 signing Charles Leclerc last year, as he replaced Kimi Raikkonen, who moved to Sauber.
Markelov Jr, who sits fifth in the current F2 standings, was believed to be in the frame for an F1 graduation with Williams, although there were doubts over whether his sponsorship package would fit alongside that of compatriot and current Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin.
Renault were the first to make a move in the driver market when they signed Ricciardo, which set off a chain of events which had led to a lot of confusion among fans. Only Mercedes and Haas have retained the same line-up as this year.
Another youngster who will be making his debut next year in F1 will be Ferrari junior, Antonio Giovinazzi, who will enjoy his first full season, replacing Marcus Ericsson, who has been demoted to a development role with the team.
The confirmed line-ups for next year is:
Ferrari: Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc
Mercedes: Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas
Red Bull: Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly
Renault: Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo
Haas: Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen
Sauber: Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi
McLaren: Carlos Sainz Jr. and Lando Norris
Force India: unconfirmed