Marcus Armstrong’s point-less streak has unfortunately continued to plague the Kiwi’s maiden Formula 2 season with a 13th and DNF in his two races at Spa-Francorchamps.
It means his podium finish at the final race of the Styrian Grand Prix remains Armstrong’s last competitive outing some ten races ago.
ART suffered a difficult weekend for both of its drivers as Armstrong and teammate Christian Lundgaard leaves the hallowed Belgian venue without having troubled much of the scoreboard. The Dane claiming seventh in the weekend’s second race after penalties played themselves out.
In the opening feature race, Armstrong ran a relatively quiet race in 13th to maintain his qualifying position but was demoted to 15th following a post-race penalty for overtaking Jack Aitken off the circuit.
Upfront, there was drama aplenty as provisional leader Nikita Mazepin crossed the line first only to be sentenced with a five-second penalty for forcing Yuki Tsunoda off the road in defence of the lead. The result gifted the win to Tsunoda in a race where the F2 paddock united in memory of Anthoine Hubert.
The second sprint race was punctuated by two early Safety Cars as championship contender Callum Ilott was punted into a spin at Les Combes on Lap 1 by Tsunoda.
Then on the restart, Roy Nissany and Dan Ticktum came to blows while contesting for the lead. Nissany was sent into the barriers in a heavy crash while some supercilious radio messages by Ticktum vented his frustration for losing the lead and damaging his front wing.
That sealed the win for Robert Shwartzman who surged to an emphatic victory to reclaim the championship lead.
Mired in a DRS train which quashes the effect of the tow and minimises overtaking possibilities, Armstrong was comfortably holding his own in 14th before pulling to the side of the road on Lap 11 in the final sector with a suspected mechanical issue.
The F2 paddock still has five rounds left in their 2020 season, the next being the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 4-6.