Despite running a non-oval schedule in CGR’s #11 vehicle, Armstrong tops the rookie standings, having achieved top-10 rankings in half of his eight IndyCar starts.
Although Armstrong has allowed Takuma Sato to take over for all oval events, his ultimate goal is to secure a full-time position with the championship-leading team that includes Alex Palou.
In a conversation with F1 Flow.com, when queried about his dream 2024 scenario, Armstrong stated, “It’s no secret that I’m eager to stay with Chip Ganassi Racing.
“I’ve been quite open about my interest in trying out ovals for the first time. Competing at the Indy 500 would be a dream realized.
“Currently, my concentration is on achieving good results as my performance will assist me in the long run. The contractual matters aren’t entirely in my control, all I can do is give my best, stay focused, which has been pretty straightforward since everything is going smoothly. I thoroughly enjoy being part of the team.
“I feel we are moving in the right direction, I just need to maintain good performance.”
Marcus Armstrong, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Photo by: Gavin Baker / F1 Flow Images
Armstrong’s opportunity to keep his spot is boosted by the likely departure of teammates Palou and Marcus Ericsson, although financial factors will be taken into account.
Veteran driver and fellow New Zealander Scott Dixon is set to continue as the core of the team, while speculation is rife about the other spots – both paid and sponsored.
Armstrong, a former Ferrari Driver Academy participant, has impressed the team with his attitude and three seasons of F2 experience in Europe, including four victories. Despite only qualifying in the top 10 once, he’s heading into the Nashville round fresh from a season-best seventh place in Toronto.
When asked about his challenges with qualifying, he noted, “It’s more about quickly adapting to the pace. I’ve been getting acquainted with the circuits.
“It’s challenging to immediately match the speed of those who have been here several times. I make significant strides from FP1 to the end of Q2, then the race.
“We have everything needed to perform well in qualifying, we just need to get there faster and pay attention to minor details towards the end of qualifying.”
Marcus Armstrong, Chip Ganassi Racing Honda
Photo by: Art Fleischmann
He also stated that sharing the ride with Sato hasn’t greatly affected him negatively, as it allows him to gradually learn the series without the massive leap of tackling high-speed ovals head-on.
“Throughout a season, you build momentum and establish a rhythm. In some ways, it would be nice to have the consistency of racing continuously.
“Oval racing and street [and road] course racing are distinctly different. I’m still figuring out whether one supports the other.
“I attend the [oval] races and engage in all activities, except driving the car. This provides me with extra time to interact more personally with my teammates and everyone I work with.
“IndyCar weekends are quite packed, so these weekends provide an opportunity to communicate with everyone, which has been very beneficial in gaining a better understanding of the situation.”
Is IndyCar’s top team about to lose its standout 2023 drivers?
Newgarden: Penske must “elevate our game” to challenge Palou
Is there really an IndyCar title fight, or is it just an illusion?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about IndyCar
Q: What are Marcus Armstrong’s aspirations for the 2024 IndyCar season?
A: Marcus Armstrong’s goal for the 2024 IndyCar season is to secure a full-time ride with Chip Ganassi Racing. He has expressed his desire to try ovals for the first time and dreams of competing at the Indy 500.
Q: How has Marcus Armstrong performed so far in the current season?
A: Despite running a non-oval schedule, Marcus Armstrong leads the rookie standings and has achieved top-10 finishes in half of his eight IndyCar starts.
Q: What are the chances of Armstrong retaining his seat with Ganassi?
A: Armstrong’s chances of keeping his seat are strengthened by the likely exit of his teammates, Alex Palou and Marcus Ericsson. However, commercial requirements will also play a role in the decision.
Q: How has Armstrong’s performance been in qualifying?
A: Armstrong has struggled with qualifying, admitting that he needs to get up to pace quicker and make smaller improvements throughout the weekend rather than big strides from session to session.
Q: How does Armstrong feel about sharing the ride with Takuma Sato this year?
A: Armstrong doesn’t feel negatively impacted by sharing the ride with Sato. He sees it as an opportunity to learn the series without the added pressure of high-speed ovals and values the time he gets to interact with teammates and team members during the race weekends.