Marcus Armstrong and Liam Lam Lawson begin their FIA Formula 2 season tonight with the first day of the official pre-season test at Bahrain.
The three-day test at the Sakhir International circuit will be the last opportunity for our Kiwi duo to get some mileage under their belts before the championship’s opening round.
For Armstrong, his sophomore season is shaping up to be his most important one yet. The Ferrari Academy Driver had a turbulent 2020 campaign. 2021 will be a decisive year for Armstrong with new team DAMS and could set him up for a potential step up to Formula 1.
Armstrong got his first taste with the DAMS car in last year’s post-season test, which was also held in Bahrain. The 20-year-old will be joined with Williams Development driver Roy Nussany for the year ahead.
DAMS is one of the longest-running GP2/F2 teams on the gird, and its crop of past drivers includes several Formula 1 names. The French outfit finished eighth in the 2020 standings but did enjoy a race win and a handful more podiums across the season.
Armstrong will undoubtedly focus on further understanding the 18-inch rims and lower profile tyres, which disrupted his form and restrained him from maximising his full potential.
Lawson is the second New Zealander on the F2 grid. The rookie stays with the Hitech GP team, which he raced for in last year’s Formula 3 championship.
The Red Bull Junior driver was mightily impressive in 2020, carrying an underperforming car to a trio of race wins.
After ironing out teething issues in the first two rounds, Hitech were a consistent point-scoring team in last year’s F2 championship.
Lawson will have Jüri Vips as a teammate for the season. Vips debuted in F2 last year with a four-round stint with DAMS, earning his maiden podium along the way.
Each day of the test will have six hours of open running. Teams and drivers will be allowed to use a mix of soft and hard tyre compounds, with a limited number of each distributed before the start of day one.
Velocity News will post a report on each day’s running.