Arthur Pic has been one of the outstanding rookies in the GP2 Series in 2014, and the Campos Racing driver continued his good form with a front row start and two top-five finishes at Sochi.
Pic missed out on his maiden pole position by no margin at all, after setting an identical lap time to that of Stoffel Vandoorne, but unfortunately for Pic, the Belgian set the time first so took top spot.
“We’ve had a great weekend and our pace was very strong throughout,” said Pic. “I was a little disappointed to miss out on my first pole position, however. The car felt very good, so we didn’t change anything with the set-up between practice and qualifying, which proved to be the right decision.”
For Saturday’s Feature race, Pic was cost an even better result due to the timing of the safety car, and then while battling Raffaele Marciello for the podium, got clipped by the Italian that damaged his steering column that he believes cost him the chance to beat the Racing Engineering driver.
“I was a little too careful with the clutch at the start of Saturday’s race, as I wanted to limit wheelspin,” said Pic. “Unfortunately, the timing of the Safety Car cost me, but the car was fantastic afterwards. On the restart, Marciello hit me through Turn 17, which damaged my steering column. To be honest, I think this cost me a top-three result.”
Pic was also disappointed with his Sunday start, but was happy with the pace he and the team showed in Russia, especially with team-mate Kimiya Sato finally securing his first points finish of the season in seventh.
“I made a similarly sluggish start on Sunday, although we were able to demonstrate our pace thereafter,” insisted Pic. “Without the cautious getaway I think we could have finished on the podium once again. Saying that, I’m really pleased with our performance this weekend. Our speed in dry conditions, especially when it’s warm, has been excellent.”
Pic now has a six week wait for the season finale in Abu Dhabi, and the Frenchman is hopeful of finishing the year off by continuing his strong form, and is aiming to take his first pole position after coming so close on occasions in 2014 so far.
“Hopefully the weather is similar in Abu Dhabi, where I’ll be looking to secure my first pole position,” said Pic. “If we start at the sharp end, I’m sure we can fight for victory.”