‘Game on’ says Kiwi Formula 2 driver Marcus Armstrong ahead of the start of his second season tonight in Bahrain.
Armstrong joins French outfit DAMS this year after a turbulent rookie campaign with ART GP, where he finished a lowly 13th in the championship.
Deciding to remain in Europe for the off-season, the Ferrari Academy Driver kept himself busy acquainting himself to his new colours and undergoing an intense training regime.
Now Armstrong says he is ready to get his head down and focus on clinching the title.
“It has been a busy winter,” he said in Bahrain.
“I didn’t go back to New Zealand this year for obvious reasons, so it gave me plenty of time to get up to speed with my new team.
“So far, so good. We have been working a lot, to be fair. A lot more than previous years, trying to be prepared for any possible scenario.
“Now it is time to do the business and do the job as well as we can.”
Despite a limited pre-season testing scheduled, Armstrong says he felt he exceeded his expectations.
He heads into the opening race with high confidence and his tail up.
“I achieved my targets, and the team came out with a few more questions answered. So, that is always helpful.
“I’d say the test went as well as it could have in many ways. We got through our programme without any issues and got everything sorted for the first weekend.”
One of the most hotly fought single-seater championships, the 20-year-old expects the 2021 season to be no different, believing several drivers are within a shot of winning races.
“A small mistake can make a big difference. In a way, pressure is on because you need to be perfect. But you would expect something like that racing in Formula 2.
“I am looking forward to it. It is going to be tough, but I am up for it.
“There seems to be a lot of drivers capable of winning races. We just need to be the one who is the most consistent because that is the guy who wins the championship.
“Winning races is fun, but winning championships is the ultimate goal. So game on.”
In a bid to cut championship costs, F2 has seen a revision to its usual weekend format for 2021.
Instead of two races per event, this year will see each round have three races – two sprints and one feature. The overall number of rounds have thus been reduced.
Armstrong feels that the format changes will open up plenty of intriguing strategy options.
“It could be interesting in terms of strategy. We now have another set of tyres and one extra race. There are so many possibilities of what we can do and what can work.
“We could favour the first race, for example, on Saturday and almost forget about the second race. Or we could do the opposite.
“There is just so many different scenarios we can do in terms of strategy. I think it is going to be really interesting.”