In-form Pic scores podium finish at Motorland Aragon

His next challenge will be on the world-famous streets of Monte Carlo where Formula Renault 3.5 supports the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix (May 26).

Arthur Pic scored his maiden podium finish of the 2013 Formula Renault 3.5 season at Motorland Aragon (April 27/28) with a mature drive to third position.

Ultimately it would prove to be a weekend of highs and lows for the Frenchman as Saturday's result was tempered by an early exit with technical problems in the second race. Nevertheless Pic displayed front-running speed throughout the event and leaves the Spanish venue third in the ultra-competitive championship’s standings.

Arthur Pic
Arthur Pic

Photo by: Renault Sport

Saturday's qualifying session was held in wet conditions and saw Pic deliver a superb lap to take sixth on the grid. This would become fifth when Antonio Felix da Costa was sent to the back for a fuel regulation infringement, but better still was to come when the lights went out.

With the track now dry Pic made a lightning start and immediately surged into P2 thanks to an audacious move around the outside at turn one. From there he was able to run second for the majority of the race, only to slip behind a hard-charging Will Stevens after a thrilling final lap duel.

However the Frenchman still managed to secure an impressive podium finish, the first for his Spanish-based AV Formula team in only their second Formula Renault 3.5 event.

Sunday morning's second qualifying session was shortened after series organisers discovered a potential engine unit reliability issue. The race distance would be cut from 44 minutes +1 lap to 29 minutes +1 lap, with the mandatory pitstop also dropped.

The session was held amidst a torrential downpour, but Pic coped well with a series of red flag stoppages to produce a lap good enough for P4 on the grid.

With the rain continuing unabated the race began behind the safety car, but Pic's chances were over almost immediately as he slowed and parked his AV Formula machine with power problems early on lap two. Whether this was linked to the reliability issues identified by the series organisers has not yet been established.

Though naturally disappointed to have missed the chance to fight for another podium finish, the youngster will leave Spain full of confidence for the races to come having twice qualified among the top-six in wet conditions, an area he identified as requiring improvement following last month’s Monza event.

His next challenge will be on the world-famous streets of Monte Carlo where Formula Renault 3.5 supports the prestigious Monaco Grand Prix (May 26).

Arthur Pic: “The weekend started really well with an excellent qualifying in wet conditions. The race wasn't too bad either as we managed to earn our first podium of the season, but naturally we'd like to have been even faster. Unfortunately I lost P2 right at the end as I'd flat-spotted my tyre and Will Stevens was able to pass me, but third is still a great result on home soil for the team.

“Sunday morning was extremely wet and very tricky, but I managed to find the space to run one clear lap which put me fourth on the grid. Unfortunately the race was over very quickly and we're not yet sure what caused the problem.

“There are a lot of positives to take from the weekend. We've really improved our wet weather pace, and I feel I’m managing the starts much better than last year too. There's definitely more to come in terms of setup, so we'll look forward to Monaco with plenty of optimism. Hopefully we can enjoy some sunshine there as well!”

Formula Renault 3.5 drivers' championship standings

1: Kevin Magnussen – 63
2: Stoffel Vandoorne – 59
3: Arthur Pic – 35
4: Antonio Felix da Costa – 31
5: Will Stevens – 30

Arthur Pic

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About this article
Series Formula V8 3.5
Drivers Will Stevens , Antonio Felix da Costa , Kevin Magnussen , Arthur Pic , Stoffel Vandoorne
Article type Race report
Tags av formula, motorland aragon, pic, wsr