Motorsport: Last-lap overtake puts Kiwi driver Marcus Armstrong in pole position for Monaco Formula Two

An overtake on the final lap of Formula 2's opening sprint race could prove to be a masterstroke for Kiwi driver Marcus Armstrong, finishing in 10th place in Monaco.

Starting the race in 14th, 20-year-old Armstrong pulled off a last-lap overtake of former Formula 3 teammate Jehan Daravula, doing enough to see him finish in 10th place for the first of the weekend's two sprint races on the Monte Carlo street circuit.

Crucially though, Armstrong finishing in 10th place will put him at the front of the pack for the second sprint race on Sunday morning (NZ time), with a reverse grid being used to decide the top 10.

Had Ferrari-affiliated Armstrong not pulled off the last lap overtake, then he would start the second sprint race in 11th place.

Starting at the front of the grid in Monaco will be vital in deciding the winner on the streets of Monte Carlo, known as the most notoriously difficult track to overtake on.

"You could argue that you can still win the race from P11 in most places, but in Monaco that's simply impossible," Armstrong said after the race. 

"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 be joined on the front row by compatriot Liam Lawson, who finished ninth in the first sprint race, having started from 12th on the grid.

But the ninth placed finish gives Lawson no points, in a disappointing follow-up to his opening weekend of the Formula 2 championship that saw him take a victory and another podium finish in Bahrain back in March.

Championship leader Guanyu Zhou added to his advantage at the top of the standings by winning the first of Monaco's sprint races, moving 26 points clear of second placed Lawson as a result.

Formula 2's weekend will finish with another sprint race, before another feature race on Sunday (NZ time).