A last-lap dash following a Safety Car period is very low on the list of things a Racing Driver wants after leading a race comfortably, but that was the high-pressure situation Hitech GP’s Marcus Armstrong found himself in at the end of the FIA Formula 2 Sprint Race in Zandvoort.
The New Zealander had reverse-grid pole-sitter Clement Novalak on his tail as the Round 12 Sprint Race came to a close, having got the better of the Frenchman at lights-out.
Speaking to insideF2, 22-year-old Armstrong explained how he managed to ace the restart:
“It was a good Safety Car period, not too long, not too short. The tyres could cool down a bit, but I didn’t lose brake temp.”
The former Ferrari Driver Academy member then added, “I just needed to go early because you can’t follow me through the last corner with the dirty air, so just go early, and if I need to defend at Turn 1, then that’s what I need to do.
“It was pretty straightforward. The race was in my hands really, just don’t mess it up,” Armstrong, a former ART and DAMS driver, concluded.
The Kiwi’s clear thinking and decisive action meant the Hitech driver was unchallenged into the first corner, which allowed him to deliver a restart lap that F2 commentator Alex Jacques described as “perfect”.
The win, Armstrong’s third of 2022 and fourth overall in his F2 career, adds 10-points to his total and moves the New Zealander into the top 10 in the championship.
2022 is Armstrong’s third season in Formula 2 and has been his most successful by far, scoring almost double the points of his 2021 campaign with five races remaining.
Armstrong will start Sunday’s Feature Race from 10th position and aim to take his Saturday highs into Sunday’s morning event.
Image: Formula Motorsport Ltd