Kiwi racer Marcus Armstrong is thinking big as he departs New Zealand for a career-defining season in Europe.

The 17-year-old has been tipped as a potential Formula 1 star of the future and is embarking on his second year as part of the Ferrari Driver Academy. Should he succeed at Formula 3 level this year he will seriously be on the path to the top echelon of the sport.

Armstrong won the Italian Formula 4 Championship last year while just missing the German equivalent but will now make the step up for Formula 3 alongside some of the brightest talents in the world but that daunting prospect hasn't changed his goals.

"I want to win - pretty simple," Armstrong told The Herald. "I am always really ambitious and I really want to win.

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"It is going to be difficult because there are so many good drivers doing it this season. I think it is the toughest year in Formula 3 since the [Antonio] Giovinazzi, [Esteban] Ocon and [Max] Verstappen year and I am going to learn so much.

"Twelve months in the future I will be a different driver and that is pretty exciting."

Armstrong will drive for the superstar Prema team that has dominated the championship for the past few seasons.

His first race isn't until May but the next couple of months will be split between time at the academy and test sessions around Europe.

Armstrong admits he heads back to Europe more determined after cruel luck robbed him of the Toyota Racing Series championship over summer. Armstrong's car overheated on the final lap of the series under safety car, which saw him lose positions and miss out on the championship he had dominated all series.

"From my experiences in motor racing sometimes it is better not to be satisfied so you are always hungry for more," Armstrong said of his misfortune.

"I have quite a lot of tests lined up in F3 preparing for the championship.

"Ferrari have a few training camps scheduled as well.

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"It is going to be very, very busy."

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