Arthur Pic claimed a brace of points-paying finishes at Paul Ricard last weekend (28/29 September) in what was a solid Formula Renault 3.5 event on home soil for the Frenchman.
Pic entered the event targeting consistency, having shown strong pace throughout 2013 only to record fewer top results than he and his AV Formula team have merited.
And the 21-year-old achieved just that at Paul Ricard by twice finishing among the top-seven in what was a typically competitive weekend for the series.
After building his pace throughout Friday practice Pic was disappointed to qualify 12th for Saturday’s opening race. The youngster made rapid progress at the start however, delivering a superb getaway to leap into sixth place.
A gradually worsening issue with the car’s right-rear damper would force Pic to spend the majority of the race fending off the rivals he’d overhauled at the start. As such P7 at the flag ranked as a positive outing, and one that secured him an important clutch of championship points. The French driver would subsequently see his efforts further rewarded after race winner Kevin Magnussen was excluded from the results, promoting Pic to sixth.
The AV Formula pilot took ninth on the grid for Sunday’s second race as the top positions again proved incredibly close-fought. When the lights went out Pic made another good start to climb into P7 on the opening lap and, with the exception of the pit-stop phase, retained that position all the way to the chequered flag.
This would again prove a pleasing result for Pic and his team. Though he had perhaps hoped for better still at Paul Ricard Pic can nevertheless take great heart from two competitive and trouble-free races, and will look to carry this momentum into the season-closing Formula Renault 3.5 round at Circuit de Catalunya on October 19/20.
Arthur Pic: “In Saturday’s qualifying session we went too early on our second set of tyres and so came across a lot of traffic. That left me P12, which I wasn’t pleased with, but I made a really good start in the race to climb to sixth.
“Soon I began to notice a problem with my right-rear damper, and ultimately I was happy to only lose one place over the remainder of the race as I was suffering from huge oversteer. With Kevin Magnussen later disqualified we ended up taking P6 anyway, so overall I was very satisfied with Saturday given the problems we faced.
“In Sunday qualifying I was P9 which was quite pleasing. The session went smoothly, and we were just a little way off the front-runners’ pace. In the race I made another good start to move into P7, but from there it was pretty uneventful. We had decided on a medium downforce set-up while most of the others ran high. We’d hoped this would give us an overtaking advantage, but ultimately I finished where I was at the end of lap one!
“But I’m pleased to have scored points in both races this weekend. It’s the first time we’ve done that since the opening round at Monza, so we can only take satisfaction from this. I also feel I made no mistakes, which puts me in a good frame of mind ahead of the last race.”
Pic sits eighth in the ultra-competitive Formula Renault 3.5 drivers’ championship standings with 74 points ahead of next month’s final event of the campaign.
For more information on Arthur Pic please visit www.arthurpic.com