Hitech Grand Prix’s Marcus Armstrong said that knowing the Red Bull Ring ‘like the back of [his] hand’ helped him achieve his second FIA Formula 2 Championship victory of the 2022 season in the Sprint Race on Saturday.
Armstrong started the race from pole after qualifying 10th on Friday, and he never relinquished the lead during the race despite late pressure from ART Grand Prix’s Théo Pourchaire, who finished 1.1 seconds behind him.
Though F2 did not visit the Red Bull Ring in 2021, Armstrong has strong form around the circuit and, crucially, prior experience in a Formula 2 car.
Armstrong made his F2 début with ART at the Red Bull Ring in 2020 and immediately grabbed second in the Feature Race despite starting 13th. He then took third place in the Sprint Race at the same venue the following week, his only other podium in a difficult rookie season.
Earlier in his junior career, Armstrong scored his first F4 pole position and victory at the Red Bull Ring in the Germany-based ADAC Formula 4 Championship in 2017, the first of three seasons he drove for PREMA.
Returning to the venue in 2018 for the penultimate FIA Formula 3 European Championship round, Armstrong took three top-five finishes, including second place in Race 2.
In 2019, his last season before stepping up to F2, Armstrong took his only FIA Formula 3 Championship pole position at the Red Bull Ring before coming third in the Feature Race.
When asked by InsideF2 about his affinity for the venue, Armstrong, who runs a satirical food-centric Instagram page called ‘screamingmeals’, joked that the Austrian cuisine was a personal highlight for him.
“Probably the food. The food is quite good here!” he replied.
Armstrong also said his wealth of experience at the circuit had given him an advantage, though he said he could replicate his Sprint Race form at any track on the calendar.
“I like the place; it’s cool. I’ve done a lot of laps here. I used to come here testing with PREMA when I was in Formula 4 quite frequently. I know the place like the back of my hand, so that helps for sure.
“The honest answer is that I feel like I’m capable of doing it every weekend, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work out.”
With the victory, Armstrong moves up to fifth in the standings on 69 points, breaking a three-way tie with fellow New Zealander Liam Lawson and Hitech team mate Jüri Vips before the weekend started.
Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Ltd