“When I went to bed, I had barely any followers and when I had woken up the next morning, I had over 1000.” Sounds like any social media influencer’s dream but it all came about due to what was an innocuous error. Mis-tagging happens all the time on social media but during the Zandvoort race weekend, things got a little weird for Marcus Armstrong. No, not that one…

Marcus is an iOS developer based in the United States and just so happened to pick up the handle @MarcusArmstrong on Twitter. Namesake and 2022 Hitech Grand Prix Formula 2 driver, Marcus Armstrong goes by @MarcusArmstrng as a result. So, when Clément Novalak tried tagging his F2 rival on Twitter, the developer was a bit confused but not entirely surprised by the incident. What he was wholly unaware of though was the social media sensation he was about to become in the F2 and motorsport community online.

“I’d been tagged so many times prior to this, it just never gotten any attention before because it had never been a high-profile account that had tagged me. It was always fans of Marcus. Not me, the other Marcus.

“I had never followed motorsports before. I had known about it only because I had been tagged in things, before I got this big attention. I had been constantly tagged in things where I've been exposed to it, but I'd never really followed him. So, when it happened, it was pretty crazy.”

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The original tweet and Marcus’ reply quickly blew up on social media. Not to let the new-found attention get to him, Armstrong leaned into the fun, changing his header photo to a photoshop of his face over the top of the Hitech car and interacting with the teams and drivers throughout the rest of the weekend.

“Honestly, I just kind of found it funny. It's entertaining to read through everyone's comments, and it's just a bit of fun to be involved.

“It was weird for sure because I've never had anything remotely like this happen before. I'm, for the most part, pretty quiet on social media. I just use it to browse and read news sources, things like that. It was definitely a completely different world than what I'm used to. I think one of my co-workers even saw and said that the tweet had come up on their feed.”

After the tweets and interactions piqued his interest, Armstrong quickly discovered more about the race weekend in progress halfway around the world that weekend. He then found what TV channel he’d need to get his first taste of F2 action having been oblivious beforehand.

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After the furore on his social channels, there was only one thing left to do in the situation, tune in and find out what all the fuss was about. Armstrong, watching from home in the US, was live tweeting his support and encouragement along the way.

So, after all the circus on his phone and mentions filled to the brim with racing fans, teams and drivers, what did he actually make of his first Formula 2 race following along live?

“It looks terrifying! I don't I don't think I could ever do that. I'm a desk jockey for sure. I'll stick with my computers and let Marcus handle all the racing. I'm not really up-to-date with motorsport, I signed up for ESPN+ to get the premium services and I started watching the race. It was really cool.

“I’ve watched a bit of the races since, I dove in a little bit. I haven't done a tonne of research or anything like that. Sometimes I'll put the TV on ESPN to watch races when I can. I don't always watch them. I have a lot of stuff going on at work and all that, but it's been entertaining for sure to check up and watch every now and again.”

Of course, that Zandvoort weekend, Hitech’s Armstrong handled the racing and then some, taking his third victory of the 2022 season in the Sprint Race that weekend, much to the delight of US Armstrong.

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The interactions on social media haven’t entirely ceased either. Armstrong says he is still keeping tabs on the Championship and how driver Armstrong is getting on, both on and off the track.

“He was interacting with me a little bit on Twitter the other week. Marcus had tweeted about his Halloween costume and tagged me in it. So, I interacted in that aspect. That was just a few days ago. He doesn't seem to use it much, but I still find it kind of cool to get to interact with him and be a part of that community. I do pop up here and there every now and again, it’s been fun.”

By the time the weekend was all said and done, Armstrong’s social numbers had rocketed well above the 2000 followers mark and provided him with quite the story. While he hasn’t been glued to the TV every race since due to work commitments, the F2 bug appears to have bitten, and there’s eagerness on his side to learn more.

With the final race of the season at Yas Marina approaching, the mobile developer-turned-F2 fan had some final words of encouragement for his namesake and has plans to possibly attend a race in person in the future.

“Get out there, do your best, be safe and I'll be rooting for him. I'd love to try to make a race if I could, it looks like an awesome, great experience.”