Marcus Armstrong will see out his difficult FIA Formula 2 championship by contesting the 2020 post-season test with DAMS, hinting at a likely change of team for the Kiwi next year.
Armstrong finished 11th and 14th across the final two races of the season in Bahrain over the weekend, failing to trouble the scorers. He would also slip one spot in the standings to conclude his debut year 13th overall.
Mick Schumacher was crowned this season’s champion after a scruffy final race to finish 18th. However, his blushes were spared after title protagonist Callum Ilott also failed to score.
Armstrong joined ART GP for his maiden foray into the second-tier series. The French team had fielded the previous two driver champions, so it looked to be a wise decision for the Ferrari Academy driver after an impressive Formula 3 campaign the year before.
However, despite scoring two podiums in the first four races, Armstrong quickly fell into a never-ending well of poor results and DNFs. He failed to score for 15 consecutive races, and his championship hopes had already whittled away by the midway point of the season.
A change of team could, therefore, be what Armstrong needs to rediscover his fire.
He will be alongside Roy Nissany at DAMS for the three-day test beginning on December 8. Nissany received the backing by F1 team Williams for a return to F2 but suffered a tumultuous season with only two point-scoring finishes.
There is yet to be any confirmation of a switch in team for Armstrong, but DAMS are set to lose their current line-up of Sean Gelael and Dan Ticktum. Gelael has made it clear that he will not be present on the 2021 grid and Ticktum has been linked to a drive with Carlin.
Armstrong’s ART seat for the test will be filled by French driver Theo Pourchaire who finished second in F3 this year. Given Armstrong was not retained by ART for the test, it is fair to suggest that Pourchaire will take over his spot full-time for 2021.
Christian Lundgaard will stay on with the team and he has already been confirmed to be at the test with ART.
Since joining the junior series in 2017, DAMS have finished in the top-three in the teams’ championship on three occasions. In 2019 they won the series with Nicholas Latifi and Sergio Sette Camara at the helm.
Armstrong becomes the second Kiwi driver confirmed for the pre-season test after Liam Lawson was announced to be with Hitech GP last week.