Marcus Armstrong gains 3rd podium in Formula 2 Round 2- Race 2 at Spielberg at the weekend

Marcus Armstrong gains 3rd podium in Formula 2 Round 2- Race 2 at Spielberg at the weekend

Marcus Armstrong gained 3rd podium in FIA Formula 2 Championship, 2nd Round of the much awaited 2020 season at Austria’s Red Bull Ring circuit at Spielberg. Fending off Saturday’s 7th place in Race 1, Armstrong re-grouped under Sunday’s drier skies to finish consistent to previous 3rd podium in Race 1 weekend prior.

Marcus Armstrong F2 Feature Race Round 2 Photo Credit: Getty Images

Qualifying 12th on Friday, the 19 year old Kiwi managed to adjust to hour delay of start for Feature Race on Saturday due to wet weather hampering safety of track conditions. Finally green light was a go with the ART GP driver coming in 7th in the 36 lap race.

Clearer skies welcomed F2 drivers back to the grid for Sunday’s Sprint Race which put Armstrong’s consistent performance to the test on newly required 18 inch wheels for 2020 F2 Championship season. Comments from F2 Sprint Race Press Conference:

Marcus Armstrong:It was a bit of a strange one to be honest. We definitely had the pace at the beginning, but there was one point where I just completely lost the rear axle. I was more or less surviving for the last 15 laps. I certainly wasn’t able to drive the way that I wanted to, so I was massively limited by that’.

Marcus Armstrong F2 Round 2 Sprint Race 3rd podium Photo Credit: Getty Images

‘Positively, we do have more points on the board, and that’s the priority at the moment. I keep thinking of this weekend as the first weekend, but it’s the second weekend! But still, the Championship is long, and I think that we’re in a good position because I feel that we’re only going to improve. Then again, I think that today was just a bit poor in terms of performance. We need to do some work’.

Consolidating F2 Championship standings of 5th, Marcus along with F2 drivers are all experiencing learning curve in management of new 18 inch wheels brought in prior to F1 racing the new tyre specs next year.

With lower profile and lower sidewall, the changes that Teams have made are considerable- as F1’s Chief Technical Officer, Motorsports Division, Pat Symonds, explains:

With the high sidewalls of the previous 13 inch tyres an awful lot of energy is absorbed by those sidewalls, and you can get away with a lot. However, with the lower sidewalls of the 18-inch tyres you will not be able to get away with as much. The loads will be high, the way you use the tyres will be considerably different, there will be less compliance in the tyres, and suspension designers are going to have to rethink things’.

Marcus Armstrong F2 Round 2 Photo Credit: Getty Images

For certain, Marcus felt the adjustment on running new rubber was important to attain the results he desired: ‘With the new 18-inch tyres everyone is also having to learn. For example, in that race I think Guanyu Zhou had similar issues to me in terms of tyre management. Even the experienced guys are still having to learn this new rubber’.

With 4 different winners from F2 Rounds One and Two, there is much at stake, much to look forward to and much anticipation on which F2 drivers will deliver successful results in up-coming Rounds.

F2 Round 3: Budapest July 17-19th July.

Words: Sharon Cox.

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