Marcus Armstrong took the second FIA Formula 2 victory of his career in the first race of the Imola weekend with a sensational performance as he launched his Hitech into the lead once the lights went out.
Heading into the weekend, the Kiwi racing driver was determined to change his luck after 13 retirements during his time in F2 at a Imola circuit he know well since his Italian F4 days back in 2017.
Despite experiencing a crash in the practice session on Friday, Armstrong managed to seal his and the team’s first win this season after the reverse grid polesitter Logan Sargeant dropped down to fifth off the line.
There was drama even before the race started. Van Amersfoort Racing’s Amaury Cordeel marked the first retirement from the race, crashing on his way to the grid to damage his rear suspension, making him unable to participate in his fifth F2 race.
There wasn’t even one lap of running before Charouz Racing System’s David Beckmann brought out the first yellow flag. His car stopped on the track after a collision with MP Motorsport’s Clement Novalak, eventually bringing out the safety car.
Midway through the race, Free Practice pacesetter Ralph Boschung fell down the order as his Campos Racing slowed down to bring out a short-lived Virtual Safety Car as the Swiss driver stopped at the side of the track.
In opposite fortunes, it was a good day for the PREMA Racing team. They took a long-awaited double podium on home soil, with Jehan Daruvala and FIA Formula 3 champion Dennis Hauger taking the final spots in the top three.
Roy Nissany showed another strong performance from the weekend by placing his DAMS in fourth, ahead of the championship leader Felipe Drugovich, who worked his way up from P12 to fifth.
Carlin’s Logan Sargeant had a missed opportunity due to the poor getaway at the start of the race and dropped to fifth before Drugovich overtook him. Regardless, this was his joint-highest race finish in F2 after taking P6 in the Bahrain Sprint Race too.
Theo Pourchaire ended up in seventh for ART Grand Prix, ahead of Sargeant’s teammate Liam Lawson who made it to eighth, beating his fellow Red Bull Junior driver Ayumu Iwasa who settled for ninth.
Finally, ART’s second driver Frederik Vesti moved his white and black-liveried ART into the top ten after pressuring Virtuosi’s Racing Jack Doohan to take the final points from the race.
FIA Formula 2 will be back for the Feature Race, with Hitech’s Juri Vips starting from the pole position at 10:20 AM local time.
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Image: Formula Motorsport Ltd