Hard-fought podium for Marcus Armstrong at Silverstone
Marcus Armstrong earned his first podium of the 2021 FIA Formula 2 season by charging through the field in race one, and then finishing within two seconds of his maiden victory in race two.
The historic Silverstone circuit hosted the fourth round of the FIA Formula 2 season alongside Formula 1’s British Grand Prix. The high-speed corners provide a fun but challenging test for the young talents.
Marcus hits back after a challenging start
On a busy track, Marcus was unable to demonstrate his full potential in qualifying as he took 14th place on the 22-driver grid for his DAMS team.
At the start of the first of three races, the Ferrari Driver Academy protégé mustered all of his grit and determination to charge past three cars on the run to the opening turn on the first lap, promoting himself to 11th place.
He then broke inside the top 10 despite having to avoid a spinning driver directly in front of him. Marcus was then ninth but with overtaking opportunities at a premium around the historic Silverstone circuit, the chances to progress were limited and he finished the race in ninth place.
The top 10 finishers in the first sprint race are flipped to form the grid for the second sprint race, meaning Armstrong was starting race two from the front row.
A long overdue return to the podium
Marcus held his second position on the grid at the start of the second race, avoiding the chaos that happened behind.
The 20-year-old pressured pole sitter Richard Verschoor all race long, and withstood race-long pressure from a host of drivers behind. The majority of the chasing pack had the benefit of DRS assistance, while Armstrong had to defend without it.
He delivered a measured and consistent defence that ultimately yielded his first podium of the season - one that’s well deserved having been robbed of starting from pole position in Monaco through no fault of his own.
The young kiwi finished just 1.202s behind the race winner and managed to set his fastest race lap on the final tour, demonstrating the relentless race pace that he was able to maintain.
A delighted Marcus vowed this podium would be “the first of many”.
“Finally we have some champagne! So close to P1, overtaking was difficult outside of the first lap. I have a feeling that it’s the first of many. I think we’ll be even stronger at the upcoming tracks.”
He finished the final race of the weekend just outside of the points in 12th place, with drivers up a down the field struggling to overtake it meant it was tough for Marcus to find a way forward.
Marcus will be looking for more podium appearances and a maiden FIA Formula 2 victory when the championship returns in September at the iconic Monza venue - home of the Italian Grand Prix.