Arthur Pic continued his strong start to his rookie GP2 Series season by claiming two more points finishes in Monaco. The Frenchman finished sixth in the Friday Feature race, before a fifth place in the Sprint race.
The Campos Racing driver’s qualifying session again was his weak point of his weekend, with Pic qualifying down in fourteenth position. However, he managed to salvage a top six result on Friday after making his compulsory pit stop before the incident at the Lowes Hairpin that saw the race stopped. He was right behind the clash between the Arden International team-mates Rene Binder and Andre Negrao, and managed to bend his left-rear suspension trying to get around the crash.
“There’s a pattern emerging to my GP2 weekends, but in a good way obviously!” said Pic. “I’m delighted to have secured another double points finish, especially at such a demanding circuit like Monaco. We did suffer again in qualifying though, but will pore over the data next week at the team’s factory to understand why we couldn’t find the performance during the session.
“Race one was pretty chaotic with a couple of Safety Car periods and the red flag. The incident that triggered it actually happened right in front of me, so I was caught up in the traffic jam and had to reverse to get out. I have never experienced that kind of race before in my career! The car was on the pace in race trim, even though my left-rear tyre was pretty worn out by the end because of the bent wishbone.”
The Saturday Sprint race saw Pic start from third on the reverse grid, but excessive wheelspin saw Felipe Nasr pull alongside the Frenchman. The two of them made contact, with Nasr’s rear tyre clipping Pic’s front wing that saw the Brazilian end his race in the Mirabeau wall. Johnny Cecotto Jr took advantage to jump into fourth place, and despite Pic’s best efforts, fifth was the best the Frenchman could achieve.
“On Saturday, I lost a couple of positions on the opening lap and spent the next 29 shadowing Cecotto,” added Pic. “I was quicker than him but Johnny defended really well. I never had a clear shot at overtaking him and didn’t want to try anything foolish, so preferred settling for fifth.
“Of course, I am a little bit frustrated by the fact I haven’t finished on the podium yet, but I’m remaining upbeat because we achieved the target I set for myself; scoring valuable championship points again.”
Pic’s Campos Racing team-mate Kimiya Sato qualified seventeenth on his first appearance at Monaco, and stayed out of trouble during the mayhem of the Feature race to finish fifteenth. He was another driver to be caught in the long train behind Cecotto in fourth but ultimately Sato ended the race in fourteenth. The Japanese driver is still looking for his first point of the season as the series heads next to Austria in June.