Armstrong takes pole for race two at Monaco
A finely judged race that included a daring last-lap pass on Jehan Daruvala has scored Marcus Armstrong pole for today’s second race at Monaco.
Starting from a mid-teen grid position for the first sprint race, Armstrong worked his way up through the field, adapting quickly to the trickiest circuit on the 2021 FIA Formula 2 calendar. He had closed to within three-tenths of Daruvala as the race entered the last lap.
The Kiwi driver launched his car alongside the Carlin driver going into the Rascasse corner.
“Obviously, there is always a risk involved, but I know that Jehan is a smart driver, and he’s not going to destroy both of our races. I went for the gap, even though it was very small, and it paid off.”
The bold attack allowed Armstrong complete his pass and continue to the flag in tenth position, meaning he takes pole for the start of the second sprint race today because the top ten finish positions from race one are reversed for race two.
On a tight and unforgiving street circuit like Monaco, having pole and a clean track surface is an immense advantage.
Like most of this year’s driver grid, Armstrong is making his debut on the famous streets of the city. It is the first time the championship has run at Monaco on the new 18-inch wheel/tyre combination.
Looking forward to race two and aiming to bring home his first win at this level, Armstrong believes it will be all about retaining focus from the off.
“If we have a good start, then it is all about finding a rhythm. It will be very difficult because you have to stay extremely focused throughout the entire race, especially with the Pirellis.”
“When they start to degrade slightly and overheat, it starts to feel like wrestling an alligator around the streets of Monaco, so I have to stay very focused. Hopefully tomorrow we have some clear air so that I can enjoy it.”
The 3.35 km Monaco circuit is the only street race of the season and rated one of the most difficult circuits on the F2 calendar. There are two sprint races each running to 30 laps (110 km) and a longer feature race of 40 laps (133 km).