Campos Racing had their best weekend of their first season back in the GP2 Series at the Hungaroring, with Arthur Pic claiming his maiden series win in the Feature race, which Kimiya Sato was unlucky to retire twice after claiming his highest qualifying position of the season in fourth.
Pic qualified third on the grid for the Feature race, his best grid spot of the season, and used an alternative strategy to those around him. He was able to capitalise on the early introduction of the safety car to stay in contention after his pit stop, and then took the lead when the drivers ahead of him made their stops, a lead he would hold even through another safety car period. He was naturally delighted to take the victory, and praised the efforts of the team.
“It feels fantastic to have secured my maiden GP2 win,”said Pic. “Climbing on the top step of the podium is always a special moment, and especially after experiencing some bad luck over the past couple of race weekends. It’s a victory that rewards the entire team’s hard work. We’ve always believed that we had the potential to be competitive and claim good results this season, and that was proven on Saturday.
“This weekend I felt like we had a good shot as early as Friday’s free practice session. The car was competitive from the start and qualifying then confirmed our strong potential. I did lose some places at the start, but everything went pretty smoothly after that. The mechanics did a great job during my pit-stop, which gave me the opportunity to leapfrog all the early stoppers.
“Then we had to look after the medium tyres for 30 laps, which me managed to do efficiently. We also had to deal with the numerous race incidents and keep our cool ahead of the final lap when the Safety Car went in. I tried to surprise Coletti by pushing very early and it looks like the trick worked!
“We now enter the summer break in the best possible frame of mind and will savour this first GP2 win. But we won’t change our approach; the plan is to keep taking one race weekend at a time. We’ll also keep pushing hard to ensure we pick up where we left off when the championship continues next month.”
Team-mate Sato, coming back to the series after missing the round in Germany to concentrate on his Championship-leading challenge in the Auto GP World Series, had his best weekend of the season in Hungary. The Japanese driver took an impressive fourth on the grid, and was fighting for the points when he was hit by the DAMS of Stephane Richelmi on lap six that ruined his race. He was forced to pit for repairs and lost a lap, and then retired a few laps later. He was one of the quickest drivers in the Sprint race too, but was unable to reach the flag, pulling to the side of the road with four laps to go.
Team Principal Adrian Campos was happy with the teams’ weekend, and was delighted for Pic while commiserating with Sato. He hopes the speed both drivers showed in Hungary bodes well for the remainder of the season.
“I am very proud that our team has done this fantastic work,” said Campos. “Our cars worked perfectly and I feel sorry for Sato, because his prospects here were amazing and another driver has ruined his options. Now I hope both cars will be among the best ones until the end of the season”