He lost radio communications with his pit at race start, but New Zealand race driver Marcus Armstrong has swept from P2 to the lead and won the sprint race at Imola, taking his first victory of the 2022 FIA Formula 2 season.
The New Zealand driver made a strong start to the race from second position and shot into the lead on the run to the first braking zone. From there, he controlled the race throughout, keeping the hard charging Prema duo of Jehan Daruvala and Dennis Hauger behind him.
“I finally got that race win. It was a tough one, I didn’t have radio for the entire race. The Virtual Safety Car was really difficult, I was having to watch the [trackside big screen] TV and see when the safety car was ending.
“That was really stressful. But luckily, I got away with it – I had a TV in sight when it went green, so perfect! The rest of the race was smooth sailing, though I had a fast Jehan Daruvala following me. It wasn’t that easy.”
Armstrong has raced against -and beaten – Daruvala in New Zealand’s Castrol Toyota Racing Series. Hauger had a loose bodywork scare throughout the latter stages but neither he nor Daruvala were able to close on the quick Kiwi.
Carlin’s Logan Sargeant started from the reverse-grid pole position but struggled to get away from the line; Armstrong shot into the lead while Sargeant was swarmed by the rest of the front three rows and emerged running fifth.
While the mid-field saw early race chaos, the front runners settled into a clean rhythm
A Safety Car intervention was called for a stranded car with Armstrong judging the restart perfectly and escaping from Daruvala who was having to defend from his own team-mate Hauger.
Armstrong is back on track today for the 171 km feature race, aiming to bank more points.