Marcus Armstrong will race for DAMS in his sophomore FIA Formula 2 season this year, joining the French team after testing with them in the 2020 post-season test in Bahrain.
The New Zealander had a rocky rookie F2 year with ART GP, scoring two podiums in the first four races before slumping to a 15-race pointless streak.
One of seven Ferrari juniors in the F2 field, Armstrong was merely a footnote for the team as he ended the season 13th in the standings.
But his brief time with DAMS in the three-day Bahrain test saw Armstrong return to a level of competitiveness expected from him, finishing eighth quickest.
“I’m very excited to be joining DAMS, it’s been a long time coming as there was a lot of interest in working together last season,” said Armstrong.
“Formula 2 is such a competitive championship and with only eight events it’s important to start on the right foot in an experienced team that’s used to winning.
“DAMS has a massive history, especially in GP2 and F2 – it’s one of, if not the, best to be with.
“In the short time I’ve worked with the team it’s already clear they bring out the best in people and have the resources to give me exactly what I need. We are aiming for the title.
“We’ve discussed that it’s not in my interest to finish second and they firmly agreed because they have the exact same targets.
“By no means is it going to be easy with such fierce competition, but I feel that when I’m in the right environment with a great team I can really do special things.”
DAMS is one of the longest running GP2/F2 teams on the gird, and its crop of past drivers includes several Formula 1 names.
A change of team could, therefore, be what Armstrong needs to rediscover his fire.
“We are very happy to welcome Marcus to DAMS,” DMS co-owners Gregory and Olivier Driot said.
“We have been following his career and his performance for several years, so we are glad to finally join forces for this season. It’s going to be an important year for both of us. Looking at Marcus’ track record, it is obviously one of our main targets to challenge for the titles this year.
”Marcus drove for us in the 2020 post-season test in Bahrain and he gave some great feedback to the engineers.
“It was good for him to get to know the team ahead of the 2021 campaign, and everything so far has been positive.
“This is Marcus’ second year in Formula 2 and he has big goals, as does DAMS.
“We won the teams’ title in 2019 and we would like to be back at the top. We are really looking forward to starting in Bahrain.”
DAMS also revealed the look of the Kiwi’s 2021 challenger, with the team’s usual navy blue and sky blue colour scheme retained for another season.
Armstrong has also been mooted for a possible test drive in a 2018 Ferrari F1 car at the Scuderia’s home circuit Fiorano. A confirmation by Ferrari is expected to be made next week.
A condensed eight-round F2 season kicks off in Bahrain on March 27-28.