French outfit ART Grand Prix Racing are a Championship winning team in a wide variety racing formulas. The team was founded in 2005 and currently partake in DTM, FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3 and Formula Renault Eurocup.
Over the years they have seen a large group of distinguished drivers come through the team such as Sebastian Vettel, Nico Rosberg, Valtteri Bottas, Nico Hulkenberg, Romain Grojean, Estaban Ocon, Charles LeClerc, George Russell, Alex Albon just to name a few.
In 2019 their driver Nyck de Vries won the Drivers Championship convincingly and for the new season, the team have announced two promising young drivers Marcus Armstrong and Christian Lundgaard.
While competing in the old format GP2 they won four team and drivers championships and in the recently rebranded championship of FIA Formula 2, they have won 2 drivers championships but no team honours.
With this type of pedigree in the Championship, any driver would stand a strong chance of performing well racing for the team and both 2020 drivers will be hoping for a strong first season.
The nineteen-year-old is from Christchurch, New Zealand and begun like most on the karting tracks winning junior accolades before getting his big opportunity in the Formula Ford Championship.
Moving to Europe in 2016 he has competed in Renault formula’s, Formula 4 Championships and has had two seasons racing in the Formula 3 series. He has always been very competitive with one-third place finish in a drivers championship and three vice-champion honours. His Championship winning year came in 2017 winning the Italian F4 Championship with 13 podiums, 4 wins and 6 poles.
Last year saw in a promising position with only two rounds to go before a disappointing weekend at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix saw him lose significant ground on his rival and fellow FDA driver Shwartzman
“Its an honour to join ART Grand Prix for many reasons. Mainly because of the team’s huge history. It’s been a driving force in GP2 and F2 over the last fifteen years and a lot of F1 drivers have come from the ranks of ART Grand Prix.”
“I can’t wait to take to the wheel of the Formula 2 car with ART Grand Prix. I want to thank them, as well as the Ferrari Driver Academy and Ferrari management for giving me the best possibility to enter into Formula 2. (credit: art-grandprix.com)
After a solid first year in the FIA Formula 3 Championship last year the 19-year-old driver from Hedensted, Denmark will make the step up like his teammate into the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
During the 2019 season, Christian achieved one win with two podiums and two pole laps to finish 6th in the overall Drivers Championship.
“It’s going to be a very challenging year stepping up to F2 with ART. I’m happy to be staying with the team and I fully believe in them. Obviously, it will be tougher than 2019 as the races are longer and there’s also the challenge of pit stops. I was lucky to do the F2 race in Abu Dhabi as it meant I got a taste for what racing in F2 will be like this year.” (credit: art-grandprix.com)
The experience he gained racing in the 2019 Abu Dhabi weekend means he doesn’t technically classify as a rookie under the rules but this will be his first full season in the championship similar to that of his teammate.
Given the expected strength of his teammate Armstrong, I’m sure will be aiming to beat him and see where that takes him.
ART G.P has plenty of resources and skill within the team to give the two drivers the tools they need to succeed but will they be able to live up to the high standards set by prior ART graduates and F1 Wolrd Champions of the past.
In a slight plot twist, Lundgaard had been on a training camp in Tenerife when his hotel was Quarantined and he is not due to be released from the hotel until the 10th March which means he missed the pre-season training and any running in the car despite significant changes this year.
During the testing weekend, Lundgaard himself seemed in good spirits and continued training from his Hotel but the question will be asked whether missing the three-day session will have a negative impact on his start to the season.
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