Marcus Armstrong says he's frustrated that a burst of pace during the latter half of a frenetic Sprint Race in Silverstone failed to translate into points and is how hetching his bets on a Feature Race recovery.
Keeping it clean and staying out of trouble was half the battle. A heavy downpour that blighted Formula 1 Qualifying earlier on Saturday left the Formula 2 grid with a difficult challenge around the British circuit - from their first wet race of the 2022 season, a rolling start and tyre degradation.
A run of late overtakes allowed Armstrong to climb up to P9 at the chequered flag. Speaking after the race, the Hitech Grand Prix driver says he felt "pretty average" and was ruing that he couldn't get up to speed earlier on.
"We didn’t have the pace in the beginning. The race was split in two - some cars were really fast at the start and slow at the end. We came on strong at the end, just a bit too late.
"At the beginning, we were really struggling with the balance and then eventually, the tyres came on like a switch. I managed to make some overtakes towards the end, but maybe if there was another five laps we could have done even more - unsatisfying.”
Although the rain had eased off before lights out, Race Control opted to get the race underway with two additional formation laps, followed by a rolling start.
While many of his rivals suffered from heavy tyre degradation on their blue-walled wet tyres and were deseperately searching for patches of water to cool them down, Armstrong says he was experiencing the exact opposite and was surprised that the track conditions didn't markedly improve throughout, having been tempted to risk a change to slicks.
“It was weird because the track wasn’t drying almost as fast as I was expecting. I wanted to go to slicks at some point, but the track just seemed greasy - it was not drying. I was hoping for a standing start, unfortunately they didn’t do that. It would have made my race a lot better.
“I think my tyres if anything came on at the end. I gained about five seconds from Lap 6 until the last lap, so I just kept improving. It’s a shame there wasn’t more laps and that we didn’t find that window earlier."
Once again lining up P11 for the Feature Race, Armstrong's expecting Silverstone to throw up its fair share of surprises and the New Zealander is hoping he can make the best of his circumstances with a return to the top 10.
“Anything can happen here. If you’re starting on pole, you could do everything perfectly and still not win. Likewise, if you start P11 like me, you can do everything wrong and somehow salvage a result.”