Frenchman Arthur Pic was one of the star performers during the Bahrain GP2 weekend, scoring a fifth place finish in the feature race and only narrowly missing out on points in the sprint race in his Campos Racing machine. The 22-year-old from Montélimar in France managed to conserve his tyres superbly well in the feature race to gain some positions in the closing stages whereas drivers around him were struggling.
Pic started ninth on the grid after Felipe Nasr’s penalty, but lost a few places at the start of the race. However, a longer first stint on the soft tyres enabled him to run the harder tyres for a shorter spell, and in that spell passed driver such as DAMS’ Stephane Richelmi, Russian Time’s Mitch Evans and EQ8 Caterham Racing’s Rio Haryanto, all of which are more fancied to win races and challenge for championships in GP2 in 2014.
“Overall, I am very satisfied with my debut GP2 weekend,” said Pic. “As early as free practice the balance of the car felt good and it stayed the same throughout the weekend. Pace-wise, we managed to get into the top 10 in qualifying, which is an accurate indication of where we stand right now. The team and I have worked hard over the winter to start the season in the best possible shape.
“Coming from Formula Renault 3.5, I was slightly concerned about tyre degradation and management, but I’m quite happy with how I handled those factors over the weekend. I did lose three places at the start on Saturday but made the most of my pit stop to recover. We were clearly matching the pace of the podium finishers.”
Pic was on course for a second points finish on Sunday but a clash with Richelmi caused a loss of momentum, and he eventually wound up ninth, finishing on the tail of eighth placed Rene Binder who had taken advantage of Pic’s clash with Richelmi.
“Sunday proved slightly more complicated as I ended up in the wake of Nasr’s car for the whole race,” admitted Pic. “This sped up the tyre degradation process and hurt my pace at the end. I was then hit by Richelmi and lost further ground before finishing ninth.
“But Campos and I can still take many positives from the opening GP2 round and enjoy this strong result as it rewards all the effort we have put in over the winter.”