Dramatically lunging past Jehan Daruvala at the finish line was the difference between starting from first and 11th on the reversed grid in Sprint Race 2 for Marcus Armstrong, with the DAMS’ driver saying that the move “changes our weekend.”

An overtake 29 laps in the making finally came off at the very last second in Sprint Race 1, with the Ferrari junior deciding that it was a risk worth taking as they approached the chequered flag on Lap 30 of 30.

Former PREMA teammates in Formula 3, Armstrong revealed after the race that the Carlin driver had already messaged him, insisting the DAMS’ driver “makes it count.”

“You could argue that you can still win the race from P11 in most places, but in Monaco that’s simply impossible,” said Armstrong. “I think that it was a really important move and I needed to do it because it changes our weekend. Yes, there was some risk involved and it could have ended badly, but it didn’t and that’s it.

“I was lining that up for the entire race, exactly 29 laps, and then the opportunity presented itself on the final lap. I think that our pace was quite strong, so it was just a case of getting close enough.

Armstrong will start from pole on the reversed grid in Sprint Race 2
Armstrong will start from pole on the reversed grid in Sprint Race 2

“Obviously, there is always a risk involved, but I know that Jehan is a smart driver, and he’s not going to destroy both of our races. I went for the gap, even though it was very small, and it paid off.”

The overtake on Daruvala was one of very few moves around Monte Carlo, a theme that is typical of the punishing street circuit. Bidding to bring home his first win at this level, Armstrong believes it will be all about retaining focus from the off.

“If we have a good start, then it is all about finding a rhythm,” Armstrong continued. “It will be very difficult because you have to stay extremely focused throughout the entire race, especially with the Pirellis.

“When they start to degrade slightly and overheat, it starts to feel like wrestling an alligator around the streets of Monaco, so I have to stay very focused. Hopefully tomorrow we have some clear air so that I can enjoy it.”