Marcus Armstrong finished 11th in his IndyCar debut over the weekend but has been left contemplating what could have been so much more had fortune been on his side.
Armstrong had been in the mix in the early stages of the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, keeping pressure on those ahead whilst fending off those behind.
It was contact from behind by David Malukas that ultimately hurt the Kiwi’s chances, however, forcing him to limp to the lane with a puncture.
He was able to return to the track and work his way back to 11th as the top rookie in the field. It wasn’t a bad result for Armstrong given the circumstances but he says he has so much more to give.
“That was a good one considering what happened at the beginning when someone tried to do us and basically gave us a puncture. From then on it was always an uphill battle,” he said in a release shared by CGR following the race.
“The boys did a really good job, we had really good pace, and we got some decent points. First race under my belt, it was pretty crazy. There was a lot of crashing, a lot of chaos. Just trying to keep my nose clean after that initial hit with Malukas.
“It was a pleasure, the car was mega as you can see with Marcus (Ericsson) and Scott (Dixon). That will be us soon.”
Armstrong’s teammate Ericsson won the race whilst Dixon finished third. Malukas was issued a drive through penalty for causing the collision.
The Kiwi rookie had shown great pace all weekend on the Streets of St. Petersburg and looked likely to begin his IndyCar career strongly after going ninth fastest in first practice.
He followed this up by qualifying 13th for the race, unlucky to miss out of progressing to the top 12 by just one spot. Armstrong would have qualified for this had he been in Group B instead of the faster Group A.
With only one race down Armstrong will have plenty of opportunity for redemption, the next being at the IndyCar Grand Prix of Long Beach on April 16.
He’s only racing on street and road courses this year meaning he’ll sit out the PPG 375 at Texas Motor Speedway on April 2.
Dixon and fellow Kiwi Scott McLaughlin will be in action in that race which covers 250 laps of the iconic 1.5-mile oval in the Lone Star State.