IndyCar news | Marcus Armstrong’s culture shock upon moving to the USA
Marcus Armstong says he’s eager to swap the pageantry of Formula 2 for the rough-and-tumble racing IndyCar has on offer.
Once an aspiring Formula 1 driver with Ferrari and its junior academy, Armstrong reached Formula 2 where he spent three years competing on the undercard to the main act.
In recent years, several Formula 2 drivers have made the switch to IndyCar and had success.
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Armstrong is the latest to make the move and is keen to shine like Callum Ilott and Christian Lundgaard before him.
Like Formula 2, the Dallara-based IndyCar is without power steering. However, the IndyCar circuits are a far cry from the billiard-smooth courses seen in Formula 1.
“I mean, in F2 we don’t have power steering,” said Armstrong.
“I know that IndyCar is notoriously physically demanding, which again is part of the challenge and cool.
“Certainly cool to watch on TV when you’re wrestling with the car like it’s an alligator.
“If I’m honest, actually the only time I’ve ever driven a car with power steering is when I did an F1 test, a couple of one-off days in a GT car.
“I’m well accustomed to not having power steering.”
Lundgaard’s IndyCar debut came in the midst of his final Formula 2 campaign.
The Danish driver, who was Armstrong’s teammate for a season in Formula 2, raved about his first experience.
“Everybody seems to say the same thing – they love it,” said Armstrong.
“Christian was very vocal about it actually when he first did his race.
“We hadn’t finished our F2 season when he did his first race in 2021, I think it was.
“He was raving about it, wouldn’t stop talking about it. He was a really good advocate for the championship.
“Callum and I don’t really speak about racing. To be fair, he loves it as well. He’s enjoying the competition side, and I can see why.
“Results orientated, performance orientated. Sometimes those lines are blurred overseas. I can understand why they like it.”
Beyond the car, Armstrong said he’s still getting used to life in the United States and how the team functions.
“It seems like racing is a lifestyle as opposed to a job,” Armstrong explained.
“That was sort of my first impression, which is a real positive thing.
“There’s no such thing as work hours. If you need to stay in the office till 10pm, you stay in the office till 10pm, and no one is going to ask questions. That’s really quite unique.
“Again, it’s something that excites me because everyone is as committed as I am, I feel.”
Armstrong’s accent has given him a bit of grief.
“I think it’s funny that no one understands my accent when I’m walking around Indianapolis,” he said.
“People speak to me like I’m French or something, speak to me in pidgin English,” he laughed.
“That’s been an interesting experience.”
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