Marcus Armstrong earned his first Formula 2 race win in Saudi Arabia overnight, leading home Liam Lawson in a Kiwi 1-2.
The pair started on the front row after reversing the top-ten qualifying results.
Armstrong got the slightly better launch than Lawson and pressured his rival to run wide at turn one to snatch the lead.
“I wasn’t expecting to out-do Liam the way I did, just due to the fact the left-hand side of the track is quite dirty seeing as no other cars have ever raced here,” Armstrong said.
Lawson said his start wasn’t terrible, rather just not good enough to defend from Armstrong.
“Honestly, it wasn’t a bad start, the initial launch was good and then I got a little bit of wheelspin,” he said.
“I went to close the door and there was a point where I thought I maybe could do it, but I didn’t want to get a puncture or obviously have contact before turn one that early in the race, so I gave him some space.”
Armstrong led all 20 laps, resisting a last-gasp push from Lawson following a late safety car.
Armstrong’s victory is his first in what can only be described as a challenging year and a bit in the junior category.
“It feels fantastic,” he said. “It’s been sort of a tough 18 months, so to finally get a trophy, let alone the first place one, feels good.
“To see the smile on a lot of my engineers’ faces and my mechanics as well, it’s a great reward for a lot of work that hasn’t really been rewarded so far this season.”
Juri Vips squeezed past Ralph Boschung for third at the halfway mark, holding position all the way to the chequered flag.
Championship leader Oscar Piastri came home in ninth after starting P10.
Things didn’t go quite as well in the subsequent races for Armstrong and Lawson.
In the weekend’s second hit-out, the pair crashing in separate incidents and failing to finish. Then in the finale, they finished eighth (Armstrong) and ninth (Lawson), respectively.