Pic of the bunch... Frenchman scores memorable maiden GP2 win as Villa completes Arden podium double Charles Pic scored Arden International's first GP2 Asia Series victory of the season with a mature drive in today's incident-packed sprint...
Pic of the bunch... Frenchman scores memorable maiden GP2 win as Villa completes Arden podium double
Charles Pic scored Arden International's first GP2 Asia Series victory of the season with a mature drive in today's incident-packed sprint race at Sakhir, Bahrain. Pole position starter Adrian Zaugg (Trident) led away, while Pic settled into second as a series of early collisions delayed -- or eliminated -- several rivals. The Frenchman swept into the lead on lap four and was never headed thereafter. With several drivers -- including Zaugg -- continuing to trip over each other in his wake, Pic was able to pull out a comfortable lead.
Team-mate Javier Villa avoided the chaos to move up to third place. He chased hard after Giacomo Ricci's second-placed DPR Dallara, but his efforts were in vain and he was unable to make further progress as he secured his second podium finish of the weekend.
"What a fantastic result! I am so happy to score a victory on my first visit to this circuit. I didn't make the best of starts, but I got a good, clean line through the first two turns and was able to claw back a couple of places when Alvaro Parente and Sergio Perez collided. Once I settled into second place I realised I was quite a bit faster than Adrian Zaugg, but it was tricky to pass him during the first few laps because he was driving very defensively. I worked hard to create an opportunity, though, and eventually managed to get through at Turn 11.
"Once I had the lead I put my head down and focused on driving as quickly as I could to pull away from Giacomo Ricci. Everything felt straightforward during the first half of the race, although I then had to push very hard because Ricci was closing the gap. Towards the end, though, I was able to ease away again.
"I'd like to thank the team for all their hard work -- everyone has done a great job this weekend and that created a platform for my first GP2 win. The car was brilliant today. The circuit will have been extended when we come back here in a fortnight, but we clearly have a good baseline set-up for the next two races. That won't stop us trying to make it even better, though, and I know there is still some more to come from me..."
"I have had a very good weekend, finishing third in qualifying and both races. I have felt very comfortable in the car all weekend and the only slight setback has been our pace towards the end of long runs, when the tyres begin to fade. That wasn't a major drama, though, and I know we'll be in better shape when we next race here, because the Formula One cars will lay down lots of rubber and the circuit will have more grip. The team has done a fantastic job and we have been very competitive all weekend, but I'm sure we'll be even stronger when we come back. Arden has a chance to finish in the top three in the championship for teams -- and I feel confident that we'll do it."