F2: Armstrong enjoys commanding lights-to-flag victory in Spielberg Sprint Race
Marcus Armstrong was untouchable around the Red Bull Ring, as the New Zealander dominated to lead the way from lights out to the chequered flag in Spielberg in the Formula 2 Sprint Race. Pulling away from the field, the race was all about precision – keeping within track limits, as several drivers fell foul to time penalties and the Hitech Grand Prix driver executed the race perfectly.
Surprisingly, the race featured no Safety Cars and only one very short Virtual Safety Car appearance for Liam Lawson, who limped back to the pits following an issue with his Carlin car.
Theo Pourchaire found himself facing a nervous final five laps, as Alpine Academy junior Jack Doohan put himself squarely in his mirrors when the Frenchman opted to tread cautiously, so as not to fall foul of the track limits. However, the Sauber junior was able to hold on to the second step of the podium ahead of the Australian, who made it two Sprint Race podiums in a row.
Championship leader Felipe Drugovich continued to make consistency the backbone of his title fight in fifth, as he holds on to the lead, 40 points clear of Pourchaire.
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Juri Vips was the biggest mover, as he rose up from ninth on the grid to fifth. Richard Verschoor defended right until the end, managing to hold off Logan Sargeant for sixth, as Enzo Fittipaldi rounded out the points scorers in eighth following a five-second time penalty for Red Bull junior Ayumu Iwasa for forcing Sargeant off at Turn 3 on the opening lap.
Fittipaldi had spent much of the race duelling back and forth with Mercedes junior Frederik Vesti on the edge of the points.
A second win of the season promotes Armstrong to fifth in the Championship, as the top four hold firm. Drugovich leads ahead of Pourchaire, while Sargeant sits in third as the highest-placed rookie. Jehan Daruvala is 10 points behind the American in fourth.
MP Motorsport sit six points clear of ART Grand Prix in the Teams’ Championship on 176 points. Next best are Carlin, who remain in third ahead of PREMA Racing. Two cars inside the top five has allowed Hitech Grand Prix to close within three points of fourth.
Frederik Vesti will be leading the charge from pole in Sunday’s Feature Race, when the lights go out at 1005 local time.
For more on F2, visit the official series website.