The field were forced to fight against the elements in the opening Feature Race of the season, contending with a minor sandstorm in Sakhir, and Marcus Armstrong admitted that the conditions made the race “difficult.”
Not that this stopped the DAMS’ driver from putting on an exciting performance, scything through the field from 13th to fifth for his first points of the season, after a retirement in Sprint Race 1 and a P10 finish in Sprint Race 2.
Most of the hard work was done at the start, with the Kiwi completing several overtakes off the line and throughout the opening laps.
“I had such a pace advantage at the beginning and that made overtaking quite easy,” said Armstrong. “The track is obviously very hot, very dirty and there was a bit of a sandstorm, so the conditions did make things difficult out there.
“It was an interesting first couple of laps and I enjoyed battling through the field.”
His early graft meant that he was gifted first place – with fresh tyres - when a Safety Car shook up the order. Except, his new boots seemed to be a little too fresh, as his DAMS struggled for grip at the restart and he dropped back.
Once he got his tyres up to temperature, Armstrong was able to put on a recovery and fight back to fifth, although a first podium of the season proved two moves too far.
“It was like driving on ice for the first two laps after the Safety Car,” he explained. “The Safety Car came in maybe one lap too early for me and I just had no temperature on the tyres.
“If I had been able to warm up the tyres, or if I had a bit more time to warm them up, then maybe it would have been a completely different situation.
“Thankfully, we managed to bring home some points and that was the priority, especially after a very messy weekend.”