The Campos Racing team left the Red Bull Ring having scored a solitary point for tenth in the Feature race despite seeing Arthur Pic securing the best qualifying performance of the team’s season to date with seventh. The Frenchman finished tenth in the Feature race and thirteenth in the Sprint, while team-mate Kimiya Sato retired in the opening race and finished nineteenth in the Sunday Sprint race in Austria.
Pic had his strongest qualifying session the year with seventh, and was running strongly in the Feature race up until his pit stop. Unfortunately, a sticky wheel nut while making his compulsory pit stop on lap seven saw him delayed by more than five seconds that saw him fall down the order, and he eventually would up tenth after passing EQ8 Caterham Racing machine of Rio Haryanto.
The Sprint race saw him start well and move up two places at the start, but Pic ran wide at the final corner and lost six places that he never recovered from, finishing thirteenth. He knows he had a bad weekend, but felt the car was working well, and feels he has what it takes to take his maiden GP2 Series podium sooner rather than later.
“We always knew some weekends were going to be tougher than others and that certainly proved the case in Austria, although we’ll work hard to ensure it’s a one-off,” said Pic. “I had a problem with the left-front tyre during my pit-stop on Saturday, which pretty much dictated the outcome of both races. Had it been trouble-free I would have re-joined in clean air and could have finished fifth or sixth, such was the competitiveness of our car.
“On Sunday I made a solid start from 10th, but a slight mistake at Turn 8 cost me six positions within two corners. From then on, my race was pretty much decided.
“However, I’d prefer to focus on the positives. The car felt very good over one lap this weekend and I’m also happy with how I’ve improved at the start, as I’ve been struggling slightly in that area. It’s now up to us to put everything together over a race weekend in order to be back challenging for podium finishes.”
Team-mate Kimiya Sato qualified less than a second off the pole position time of Johnny Cecotto Jr for the Feature race but that time difference meant the Japanese driver would start down in twentieth position. Unfortunately Sato’s Feature race lasted just over a lap before he was forced to retire after a clash with another driver, and starting from the back row in the Sprint race meant the Japanese driver was always on the back foot and he eventually ended up finishing down in nineteenth.
Team Principal Adrian Campos felt the weekend in Austria was not the best of the season as they continue to readapt to GP2. He acknowledges the second half of the season will show the team in a better light and expects better results from both drivers as they gain experience in the series.
“This was not our best weekend,” said Campos. “Arthur scored new points on Saturday and Kimiya was very unlucky as another driver ruined his chances colliding with him on the very first lap. In the second half of the season our drivers will get better results, because they are rookies and need [to] learn how GP2 works. A difficult task.”