Although he was in the mix for a podium position during both GP2 Series races at the Sochi Autodrom in Russia last weekend, Arthur Pic had to settle for an eighth and 13th position after the Frenchman struggled to convert his single-lap pace into results.
The Campos Racing driver had been hoping to continue his extraordinary form from Monza when he arrived in Russia. Pic had picked up a second place finish in Monza a month before but seemingly struggled to keep his race pace consistent on arrival at the Sochi Autodrom.
Even though he managed to qualify for Saturday’s Feature Race in fifth, Pic dropped back to eighth at a quick pace despite his incredible getaway from the line which saw him fight his way into third position.
“Seeing the speed we have over one lap means the results in Sochi are obviously disappointing,” commented the Frenchman. “We were very quick on Friday in both wet and dry conditions but for some reason the performance just wasn’t there in race trim even though it was one of our strong suits last season.
We did stop one or two laps too late during Saturday’s race but also had the pace to challenge for a podium.”
Pic started Sunday’s Sprint Race on pole position but failed to make anything of it when he was beaten into the first corner by the Status Grand Prix car of Richie Stanaway before he began to lose pace once again throughout the race.
“It was the same on Sunday. I made a good start but unfortunately Stanaway’s was better. Then I was forced wide and Rio was able to benefit from that.
Then it was a case of defending as best as I could but, under that kind of pressure, it is very easy to make a mistake as you push harder and that’s why I locked up.”
A late accident involving Johnny Cecotto meant that in the closing stages of the race, a Safety Car was called out. At the time of the Safety Car coming out, Pic made a move on Mitch Evans for eighth position which was later deemed by the stewards to have been done under Safety Car conditions. The unfortunate incident saw Pic lose his points scoring position when he was handed a five-second post-race penalty that dropped him to 13th.
“Now, I’m going to the Campos factory in Valencia where we’re really going to work on a solution for the problems we’ve had in race conditions.”