Marcus Armstrong’s tough debut Formula 2 campaign continues to take another blow as his point-less streak extends another week and was once again comfortably thumped by ART teammate Christian Lundgaard.
Lundgaard picked up back-to-back third-place finishes in Races 15 and 16 of the championship from Monza while his Kiwi teammate would struggle in the Feature Race to finish 14th while the second sprint race saw him forced to make a pitstop to drop a lap on the field, eventually finishing 19th.
Armstrong has yet to rediscover the comfort he has had with the ART car since Austria and has battled tyre woes and a lack of overall performance to the rest of the field. It was an unfortunate result considering he had demonstrated a strong turn in pace in practice where he ended up fifth fastest.
His results also follow a bizarre trend in which the second ART car is significantly slower than the other. In 2019, Nyck de Vries steered the team to a drivers championship while teammate Nikita Mazepun scored just 11 points all season. A similar scenario occurred in 2018 with George Russell lifting the crown while his stablemate Jack Aitken struggled down in 11th.
Armstrong perhaps the paid the price for a frustrating qualifying session on Friday, ending up six-tenths off the pace in 15th.
An early pitstop strategy in the feature race looked to make amends to that and Armstrong had found himself sitting pretty inside the top-10 with only a few laps in hand. But indecently fast tyre wear, coupled by a controversial five-second penalty for forcing a rival off the circuit had him drop outside the points at the chequered flag.
The sprint race fared no better and Armstrong pitted on Lap 4 of 21 with suspected damage which cost him a lap and with no Safety Car intervention was unable to catch back up on the field.
Armstrong is now 13th in the championship which saw a new driver take control of the lead with Callum Ilott scoring a second-place finish in the final race to displace Mick Schumacher who will leave Monza overjoyed with an impressive feature race win following a stall by Ilott in the pit sequence.
The next round of the F2 championship will be on September 11-13 from the Mugello Circuit, one not familiar with many drivers and first for the history of the top-tier feeder series.
Feature Race results:
Sprint Race results:
|17||Artem Markelov||+1 lap|
|18||Pedro Piquet||+1 lap|
|19||Marcus Armstrong||+1 lap|