Arthur Pic is 22-years-old and is swapping Formula Renault 3.5, where he spent three years, for GP2 in 2014. He has signed a deal with the returning Campos Racing outfit, which are returning to the series after five years away after team boss Adrian Campos bought out the Addax team.
Arthur Pic is the younger brother of former Marussia and Caterham driver Charles Pic, who this year is the Lotus F1 reserve driver. They have not crossed paths on a track since their karting days, but Arthur would not mind racing against his brother in Formula 1, but has made it clear not as team-mates!
“It would be a dream to race against my brother Charles in F1, although not as team-mates,” admits Pic, who is two years younger than Charles, to The Checkered Flag. “We have competed in karting, but it would be amazing to line up on the F1 grid together.”
In his three years in Formula Renault 3.5 he drove for three different teams – Tech 1, DAMS and AV Formula – and won one race in Moscow in 2012. Now he feels ready to jump into the GP2 series to give him the best opportunity to be noticed by the Formula 1 paddock.
“It’s important to feel fully prepared before moving into GP2. After my second year in Formula Renault 3.5, the various issues I had at the beginning of races persuaded me to stay in the series for another year. I now feel ready to move to GP2.
“When Adrian Campos informed me he was returning to GP2 I was immediately interested, especially as I had the opportunity to continue working with my engineer Philippe Gautheron. Adrian – and the entire team – has a wealth of experience in motorsport, and they’ve all worked in the series previously under the Addax name.”
Both the DAMS and AV Formula teams he raced for in Formula Renault 3.5 were new teams to the series in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Pic acknowledges that he had some problems he had to work around, but states that he has worked hard on solving those issues as he moves to GP2.
“Over the last two seasons my main problem was race management, although I’ve worked hard in this area. I’m always looking to improve my driving but also the level of feedback that I can give to my engineer, which enables me to gain a better understanding of what I need to go faster.”
Having come straight from Formula Renault 3.5, Pic was able to give a comparison between the car he has driven for the last three years and the GP2 car he will drive this year when he took to the track in the Abu Dhabi pre-season test last week. He also spoke about his new team-mate, Kimiya Sato, and hopes the two of them can work together closely to move the team forward.
“GP2 cars are similar to FR3.5, although the main difference is the Pirelli tyres. It’s important to understand how they work effectively, because their performance window is smaller than the Michelin rubber that I used last season.
“I don’t know Kimiya very well yet, although we’ve started work at the factory on the final pre-season test. He is very open and I’ve spoken with him about the ways in which we can optimise the car’s set-up. We have a similar driving style so this is positive moving forward.”
Arthur Pic is keeping his feet firmly on the ground as he begins his first year in GP2. He is prepared to take it one race at a time, and see where he ends up. He hopes to emulate his brother and reach Formula 1, but has not deliberated over it too much.
“I haven’t set any personal targets, as I prefer to focus on achieving my maximum one race at a time. I will be happy to fight in the top five.
“My objective is to reach Formula 1, although I need to produce strong results in GP2 for that to happen. I haven’t thought about it much, however, because I prefer to stay focused on this season.”
Arthur Pic could be one of the ones to watch in the GP2 series during the 2014 season, which begins next month in Bahrain. He has genuine speed and talent behind the wheel. There is no reason at all why he could not become the second Pic brother to reach the promised land of Formula 1.