Arthur Pic is contesting his second season of the GP2 Series in 2015, remaining with the Campos Racing team that took him to a race victory and seventh place in the championship last year.
The twenty-three-year-old Frenchman had a disappointing opening weekend of a season he is hoping to fight for the championship, being eliminated through no fault of his own in the Feature race in Bahrain before finishing tenth in the Sprint race, meaning he left the desert track without scoring a point despite showing good pace.
Talking to The Chequered Flag ahead of the second round of the season and the first in Europe at the Circuit de Catalunya, Pic revealed it was go-karting for fun with his older brother when growing up that introduced him to motorsport.
“I started racing aged 11 like most others do in go-karts,” revealed Pic. “At the beginning I just did it for fun with my brother [former Formula 1 star and current Formula E racer Charles], but then we decided to do some local races and then the French championship. It just went from there.
“I’ve had some ups and downs [in my career so far]! I was a champion in my first year of single-seaters in 2008 and then finished third two years later in Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup. There were some difficult times in Formula Renault 3.5 but last year I enjoyed a very good first GP2 season with Campos. I’d like to fight for the title in 2015.”
Pic revealed that staying with Campos Racing for a second season was one of his easiest decisions to make, and felt he learned a lot about the team and the series last year that will help him progress this season.
“Honestly, it was a very easy decision to make,” said Pic. “They had been out of the championship for a while but we still enjoyed a strong 2014 that featured a win and several podiums.
“I think it was a really strong rookie campaign. I had some difficulties at the start but we clearly showed we were there to fight for pole positions and race wins over the second half.
“I learned how to work the tyres, the differences between each compound and also their degradation levels. Also, the GP2 weekend format is unusual in that we have just 45 minutes of free practice before qualifying, so as a driver you need to be 100% ready and know what to do before the weekend starts.
“The fact we signed a new contract during last season in order to prepare as best we could for 2015 says it all.
“The team is really professional and everyone wants to win. It’s good when you have people with that mentality around you. Also, they worked hard to adapt the car to my driving style and we really found a good set-up over the second half of last season.”
Pic also has a new team-mate for 2015, with Indonesian Rio Haryanto replacing Japanese driver Kimiya Sato, with the Frenchman determined to not only work with his team-mate to help the team move forward, but to also beat him on track.
“Rio is really open, which is good because you need to speak with your team-mate to try to find the best car possible,” revealed Pic.
“After that we are both competitors and in qualifying we will want to be in front of each other! And I will try my maximum to beat him even though I know it won’t be easy.”
Pic is expecting to have a strong season in 2015 having been one of the most consistent drivers last year, and is eager to fight for the championship. He is also hoping that a strong performance this season will open doors for his future.
“I had a strong winter doing a lot of physical work,” revealed the Frenchman. “I also spent a lot of time in Valencia with Campos analysing our 2014 season and preparing for the next one.
“2015 is my second year in GP2 and a year of confirmation. I’m focused and confident about it. We’re definitely stronger than last year. A good season can open some doors for the next one. [I want] to fight for the championship. It’s that simple!”