Torment for Marcus in the FIA F3 Finale
In a torrid end to his rookie season in FIA Formula 3 machinery, Marcus Armstrong suffered a series of mechanical non-finishes as the series came to a close in Hockenheim. But despite disappointment, Marcus signed off a strong maiden campaign against the fierce competition, earning the respect of fellow racers, teams and spectators alike.
Entering the weekend still with a mathematical chance of clinching the title, Marcus started from P6 alongside points leader and Prema teammate Schumacher, for the opening race. With a good starting position, the Kiwi racer was eager to push forward when lights went out.
Taking to the 4.574km long Hockenheimring Baden-Württemberg, Marcus immediately got the better of Schumacher, pulling ahead as they stormed into the first corner. But soon enough, the pair treated the crowds to a thrilling wheel-to-wheel battle, Marcus leaving just enough racing room to his rival as they went side by side through the parabolica. With the nose of his #8 car ahead, the Kiwi never lifted, expertly holding his line as they swept through the opening lap. Taking the tighter run through the hairpin, Marcus kept his narrow advantage and ran ahead, but with tight margins between them, Schumacher misjudged and caught the back of Marcus. Suffering damage the pair peeled into the pits, but Marcus faired worse to the contact and was eventually forced to retire.
From tough beginnings, repairs on his Prema car lead to a pit-lane start for Race 2. But never one to shy away from a challenge, he was ready to battle his way through the pack when racing got underway. Whilst the appearance of the safety car early on halted his opportunity, he was soon on the hunt. But in another torment, despite the hardwork of the Prema mechanics, his race was cut short due to a mechanical issue. Proving a heartbreaking twist to his otherwise strong campaign, a further retirement in the final race on Sunday, made the finale a weekend to forget for the resolute young racer.
Looking back upon his first season in F3 machinery, Marcus Armstrong more than proved his pace and undeniable talent. Earning himself an impressive run of points-scoring consistency from the off. Making a podium appearance at almost every event, he was sure to place himself right in the thick of the championship fight until the very end. Whilst a commanding lights-to-flag victory at the Norisring street track, in only his third round behind the wheel, Marcus certainly made a name for himself from early on in the competition.
Sealing his 2018 campaign, Marcus further earned a total of 1 win, 9 podiums, 3 pole positions and 2 fastest laps, his strong run of consistency playing a large part to sealing the team’s championship for Prema Theodore Racing.
Summing up his maiden year in the championship, Marcus reflects:
“We had some good momentum in the mid-part of the championship, but the DNFs hurt us in the beginning. Unfortunately we ended with a weekend that has probably been my worst since karting.
Overall I think we had a lot of potential, it feels like the season rushed by before we had chance to really show what we were capable of. My qualifying record was right up there, we had the pace and it’s something to build upon and come back stronger”