Arthur Pic finally returned to the GP2 Series podium after taking third place during Sunday’s Sprint race at the Hockenheimring, his first podium since Monza in 2015.
The Rapax driver could only qualify seventeenth on Friday, but recovered to finish sixth on the road after a great strategy call and good tyre preservation, and was then handed two places on a plate due to a ten-second penalty for Alex Lynn and by Pierre Gasly’s disqualification to be classified fourth.
“Qualifying didn’t go well at all, we tried something on the car and it didn’t work, but that’s just how things go sometimes,” Pic said. “We need to improve what we are missing in qualifying, to start higher up the grid for the Feature Race.
“I made a solid start in Race One and gained a few positions and the pace felt good. We definitely chose the right strategy by stopping on lap 10, my speed at that stage was great and we climbed up to seventh.
“Then towards the end of the race I was able to get past Antonio Giovinazzi and Oliver Rowland, but Pierre Gasly was on fresher tyres and got past me so I finished sixth.
“I already knew about Alex Lynn’s penalty, but then Gasly got disqualified after the race so I made up another two positions to be classified as fourth, which I’m very pleased with.”
Pic felt he made a good start during Sunday’s Sprint race only to find himself pushed onto the grass by Antonio Giovinazzi, but recovered superbly to claim his first podium finish of the season, making his Pirelli tyres work better for longer than many of his rivals.
“I made a good start from fifth in Race Two, but was pushed onto the grass on the entry to the first corner so I lost a bit of time,” said Pic. “I chose not to push at the start to save my pace for the end and it worked really well, as I got past a couple of cars in the closing stages to claim my first podium of the year.
“It was the first weekend where we scored big points, which is great, especially after qualifying. It is great for the remaining races. I can go on holiday with a rested mind. We have had good pace since the start of the season, but then it always depends on the incidents and the strategy, and sometimes a bit of luck.”