After the thrills of his maiden GP2 Series win in Hungary before the mid-season break, Arthur Pic rode into Belgium on the crest of a wave. But the close nature of the series and a small engine fault during the Feature race brought the Campos Racing driver back down to earth with a bump, and he left Spa-Francorchamps having failed to add to his tally of points scored so far in 2014.
“I think we should file that under ‘One of those weekends’,” said Pic. “I was really looking forward to Spa, partly because I enjoy the challenge and partly because our confidence was really high after Hungary.”
Pic felt that he should have qualified higher than his twelfth on the grid after being hindered by Raffaele Marciello of Racing Engineering during his last flying lap during the Friday afternoon qualifying session, a move the Frenchman believes cost him the possibility of a top eight start.
“Qualifying was very tight, with a lot of traffic, and I got stuck behind Marciello at the last corner on my fastest flying lap,” reflected Pic. “That lost me two or three tenths and a place in the top-eight on the grid for race one. We’ve shown many times already this season that our race pace tends to be stronger and I was really hopeful of making progress.”
Pic suffered an issue during the Feature race, finding himself crawling around when the engine switched itself into safety mode, which saw him fall down the order to twenty-second behind the safety car. The team were able to re-set the engine under the red flag that followed as the rain fell heavily, and Pic recovered to finish fifteenth once the race got back underway.
In the Sprint race on Sunday, the second Racing Engineering driver Stefano Coletti forced the Frenchman wide, which once again meant Pic was forced to climb through the field, but he could only get to twentieth.
“The strange engine problem didn’t allow us to show our potential, but at least we had a second chance after the race was stopped,” said Pic. “Carving through the field was a lot of fun actually and showed that we never give in.
“But if you have a bad result in race one then that compromises the rest of your weekend too, so we were always up against it today. The incident with [Stefano] Coletti obviously didn’t help, and although I was able to make some progress thereafter our gearing was too short to achieve much more. That’s the last thing you need at a track like Spa. So on paper definitely not the weekend we’d all hoped for, but also not the complete disaster that the results alone might suggest.”