Marcus Armstrong has suffered a frustrating debut Formula 2 season as he struggles to weld together a string of consistent results.
The Kiwi has barely been a footnote in the Ferrari junior ranks this year with two podiums in the first two rounds shrouded under a blanket of ill-fated reliability culminated in a 12-race point-less streak.
He currently sits 14th in the standings while his ART teammate Christian Lundgaard has claimed two race wins and remains within a mathematical shot of the title with four races remaining.
However, despite the misfortune of his maiden season, Armstrong insists that behind the scenes he has been tirelessly working on making even the smallest of improvements.
“It hasn’t gone to plan, I am not going to put sugar on it,” Armstrong said. ‘”Things just haven’t gone our way.
“Rest assured, I have always stayed positive, and I am very determined as usual. It is just one of those things that for one reason or another, we haven’t been given the best chance.
“But I am still here fighting, probably harder than anyone on the grid – unfortunately we don’t have cameras inside the team’s truck to see that.
“I think that onwards we are going to be very strong, going to improve and will focus on those small factors that deliver all the trophies and results.”
With the Formula 1 silly season continuing to unravel, and several F2 drivers set to make the promotion to the top-tier for 2021, Armstrong will likely stay on for a second campaign in the feeder series.
However, with still another four more rounds to complete before the season is out, Armstrong says his primary focus is not on what the future may hold.
Instead, he has manifested a mindset concerned with maximising the learning opportunities over the remaining few races which he says will put him on the front foot come next season.
“Finishing this season on a high is very important. Not just for me but for everyone else who is watching, just for some piece of mind,” he said.
“Leading into next season, whatever might happen, it is important that I get on the front foot.
“So, I am focusing on doing the best I can, improve on the points which haven’t been good previously and just really get all the information I can to nail the next step.”
Likewise, Armstrong is a firm believer that difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.
“It is tough to take bad results. But, in the end, it is where the most amount of learning comes from, even if I don’t think so at the time.
“Bad results are often the foundations for good things ahead, and I think this year has been mainly about character building.
“What I have learnt this season is to really maximise what I have, and I think next season that is going to be really important. With a year under my belt I am going to change my story completely.”