July 11, 2016 in 2016 GP2 Series
Arthur Pic’s hopes of a double-points finish at the fifth round of the 2016 GP2 Series were dashed by an engine-sensor issue at Silverstone over the weekend (July 8-10).
The Rapax driver was third fastest during Friday’s free practice session, but was not able to extract maximum performance from the softer of the two Pirelli tyre compounds used in Britain in qualifying.
Despite this, he was able to start eighth for the Feature Race to give Rapax their best qualifying performance since the opening round of the season in Spain.
Pic ran inside the top 10 throughout the race’s opening stages and was battling hard for eighth spot that would not only give him a well-deserved handful of points, but also pole position on the partially-reversed Sprint Race grid.
But his hopes were dealt a severe blow when his car developed an issue with an engine sensor and shut down just beyond one-third distance, costing him around 15 seconds on-track and dropping him down the order.
Having started on hard Pirelli’s his mandatory pitstop was late in the race, meaning that when he emerged in 14th spot, he had little or no opportunity to gain positions before the chequered flag.
Starting the Sprint Race 14th, the Frenchman gained a spot on the opening lap and later demonstrated his overtaking abilities to pass two more rivals as the race wore on.
Unaffected by falling rain in the closing laps that caught out several others, Pic came home 11th.
The next round of the GP2 Series takes place at the Hungaroring in support of the Hungarian Grand Prix. It’s a track Pic has fond memories of, having won in the series there in 2014.
Arthur Pic said: “Free practice on Friday went well and I managed to set the third fastest time in practice. Qualifying was a bit more complicated though, I set the eighth fastest time, but since the start of the season we have struggled to find the right set-up in order to use the softer compounds at 100%.”
“Saturday was going well, I was up to seventh and then I had an issue with the sensor, which put the engine in ‘default’ mode and cut it completely for about 15 or 20 seconds. I dropped to 14th, which was a real shame as we were easily inside the top eight and that could have meant the front row, or even pole, for Sunday.”
“My pace was good in Race Two, but we all had graining issues so was unable to push for the points. I finished 11th and we did a few overtakes, but the pace from seventh to 14th was all pretty similar, so once we got settled in position, there wasn’t much passing going on.”
“Now we look ahead to Budapest, where I have fond memories having won the Feature Race here in 2014.”