Ferrari Formula 1 junior Marcus Armstrong will make the switch to FIA Formula 2 champions DAMS for the upcoming 2021 season.

The Ferrari Academy driver has left ART Grand Prix and instead signed up to join fellow French outfit DAMS to contest his sophomore season in F1’s direct feeder series.

2019 FIA Formula 3 runner-up Armstrong made a strong start to his rookie F2 campaign by taking two podiums in the opening four races, but faded as the season went on, rounding out the year a disappointing 13th in the standings.

The 20-year-old New Zealander, who took part in the December post-season tests in Bahrain with DAMS, is aiming to mount a title charge this year, as he looks to add to the previous championship crown he won in 2017 in Italian F4.

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“I’m very excited to be joining DAMS,” said Armstrong. “It’s been a long time coming as there was a lot of interest in working together last season. Formula 2 is such a competitive championship and with only eight events it’s important to start on the right foot in an experienced team that’s used to winning.

“DAMS has a massive history, especially in GP2 and F2 - it’s one of, if not the, best to be with. In the short time I’ve worked with the team it’s already clear they bring out the best in people and have the resources to give me exactly what I need.

“We are aiming for the title. We’ve discussed that it’s not in my interest to finish second and they firmly agreed because they have the exact same targets. By no means is it going to be easy with such fierce competition, but I feel that when I’m in the right environment with a great team I can really do special things.”

DAMS slipped to eighth in the teams’ standings and managed just a single race victory last season after being crowned F2 champions in 2019.

Co-team owners Gregory and Olivier Driot added: "We are very happy to welcome Marcus to DAMS. We have been following his career and his performances for several years, so we are glad to finally join forces this season.

"It’s going to be an important year for both of us. Looking at Marcus’ track record, it is obviously one of our main targets to challenge for the titles this year.

“Marcus drove for us in the 2020 post-season test in Bahrain and he gave some great feedback to the engineers. It was good for him to get to know the team ahead of the 2021 campaign, and everything so far has been positive.

“This is Marcus’ second year in Formula 2 and he has big goals, as does DAMS. We won the teams’ title in 2019 and we would like to be back at the top. We are really looking forward to starting in Bahrain.”