FRONT-ROW START FOR PIC, VILLA SIXTH Arden drivers Charles Pic and Javier Villa made an encouraging start to the GP2 Asia Series finale at the Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain. The circuit might have changed since the team raced here a...
FRONT-ROW START FOR PIC, VILLA SIXTH
Arden drivers Charles Pic and Javier Villa made an encouraging start to the GP2 Asia Series finale at the Sakhir International Circuit, Bahrain. The circuit might have changed since the team raced here a fortnight ago -- a half-mile extension features several new corners -- but the team's front-running pace has not changed one iota. Seeking his second straight GP2 Asia victory, Frenchman Charles Pic qualified on the front row, less than one tenth of a second behind pole position winner Luca Filippi (Meritus). Team-mate Javier Villa scored two podium finishes last time out in Bahrain and he was well in touch again today, setting sixth fastest time.
"Free practice this morning was OK. I didn't drive to my full potential and knew I could improve during qualifying. We worked on the car to find a better set-up for the new part of the circuit and the ever-evolving grip levels. The team did a great job and I think I improved my performance through every corner, except perhaps Turn One, which I will sort out before the race. It was a little disappointing to be knocked off pole right at the end of the session, but I'm still pleased to be on the front row. In the race it will be critical to minimise tyre degradation in the fierce heat, to maintain a consistent balance.
"The new part of the circuit is quite difficult -- the surface is very bumpy and most of the corners have a blind apex. And although we did very well last time we came here, the original part of the circuit has changed during the past fortnight because the circuit has more grip. Overall, though, we are in very good shape."
"That was a good qualifying session. I'm happy with the car and felt confident that a place in the top three was achievable. The closing minutes were a bit difficult, though. I made a mistake on my one clear lap and there was too much traffic on the others, so I was unable to exploit the car's full potential. Even so, the car feels even better than it did last time we raced in Bahrain, so I feel confident about my race prospects."