Despite catching the Hitech driver, Daruvala couldn’t overtake him, even with DRS. A skilled and determined Armstrong ensured he kept the Indian driver at bay.
The race start was eventful, with the pole sitter, Logan Sargeant, slipping quickly down the order. Daruvala stated in the post-race Press Conference, “Firstly, I got off the line better than the guys in front but I had to avoid Logan, and I lost some momentum and I couldn’t get Marcus.
“After that it wasn’t an easy race for sure. I was struggling to put him under a lot of pressure, but it was really hard to follow in the middle sector. I had DRS but I was never quite close enough to place an attack.”
With PREMA having a slow start to the season, today’s performance from both their drivers, has pulled the Italian team back up to the podium finishes that have seen them win back-to-back championships.
“I was applying as much pressure as I could. Especially a few laps after the Safety Car. I was pushing DRS a lot, trying to stay in DRS and try to force an error, because it was quite hard to follow him, especially in the last two corners.
“I was waiting for him to make a mistake which he didn’t the whole race.”
Tyre degradation and turbulent air contributed to Daruvala not being able to overtake:
“I tried to cool down and go again, and go again, but again when I got close I really struggled to follow him.
“I used a lot of my rear tyres early on in the race, kind of took a breather and tried to come back at the end. But after one or two laps trying to follow him, I lost my rear tyres again.”
Looking at the positives of the car’s improved performance, Daruvala conceded, “All-in-all I think we had great pace, but we couldn’t really use it much.”
With Armstrong, being mindful of his friend’s strengths, the Kiwi managed to stay ahead despite the pressure he was being put under:
“Jehan was super fast and I expected him to be fast at the end. I feel I know more or less what he wants to d.o. We’ve talked about this quite a lot because we’re good mates.
“I knew he’d try and back off and save his tyres a bit then at the end apply some pressure. So I always kept a bit of margin with my own rear tyres to make sure that I could defend him if he came strong at the end.
“I’m happy to finally get a win this season.”
Image Credit: Formula Motorsport Limited