In the second edition of my ‘Just How Good is’ blogs, its time for the spotlight to fall on a French Formula 1 driver.
So, just how good is Charles Pic?
The young Frenchman is about to enter his second season of Formula 1. Having made his debut for the Marussia team in 2012, he’s swapped one back marker team for another, joining for 2013 the Caterham team.
His career up to F1 was quite impressive, even if he never managed to win a championship. Starting out in the Formula Renault Campus France series in 2006, he managed a couple of wins on route to third in the final standings. He progressed on from there to both the French & Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 series’, finishing 4th and 3rd in the championships respectively.
2008 & 2009 saw him driving for Tech 1 Racing in the Formula Renault 3.5 series, winning two races in both seasons, finishing 6th and then 3rd again. He then in 2010 joined the GP2 grid with Arden International for both the Asia & regular series’. He finished 5th in the Asian series, winning once, before finishing 10th in the regular series, again winning one race.
2011 saw him swap Arden International for the Barwa Addax team, for both GP2 & GP2 Asia. He failed to score any points in the 4 races in Asia, but managed to win twice on route to 4th in the main series. This led to him getting noticed by F1 teams, and Marussia took a punt with him for 2012. It helped that Pic had some financial backing to fall back on.
Timo Glock has long been recognised as a very competent race car driver, scoring points on his debut, and scoring numerous podium finishes whilst driving for Toyota. He had already seen off both Lucas di Grassi & Jerome d’Ambrosio, and it was assumed that Pic would be the next to fall. However Pic learnt quickly and was soon on par with Glock, and on occasion was ahead.
His results aren’t spectaculr on paper, but you have to remember he was in a Marussia car that after three seasons has yet to finish in the points. He finished a career high of 12th in the season finale, but unfortunately for Marussia, Vitaly Petrov overtook him towards the end of the race which cost them 10th in the constructors championship, but more importantly the money 10th would have earned the team. It had already been announced that Pic would be leaving for Caterham so a few whispers were said that he let the Caterham through, but anyone who saw it could see the truth.
There is a fair amount talent in Pic, that is for sure. He raced that Marussia well during 2012 and got noticed by a few other teams. Yes he has financial backing for sure, but in the modern world of Formula 1, that helps. Hes handy behind the wheel, and if Caterham give him a decent car from the get-go, there is a chance he would be able to compete with the midfield. It would not surprise me in the slightest if Pic scored Caterham’s first ever Formula 1 points.