Charles Pic

As I did a thread for Vergne last week I thought I better give Charlie Pic his own one too so as not to leave him out as part of this new wave of Frenchmen that F1 has for 2012.

Born Feb 15th 1990 Charles Pic will be the second youngest driver on the grid in 2012 being 3 weeks younger than Sergio Perez and 2 months older than Jean-Eric Vergne. Its been a fast rise for Pic but a patchy one in fact he's never won a championship in any of the formula's he's raced in however he's impressed enough to be promoted up to the next level - maybe a bit too quickly.

He came 3rd in Formula Renault Campus in 2006, 3rd in the Eurocup Formula Renault 2.0 in 2007 and 3rd in the Formula Renault 3.5 series in 2009. He gained victories in all these season (and in his 2008 season in Formula Renault 3.5) and to be fair to Pic in all these categories the teams he were racing for were not the front running team. For instance in 2009 3.5 series he finished 3rd in the championship (finishing infront of the likes of Alguersauri, Ricciardio and Bianchi) his team, Tech 1 Racing, were a distance 4th in the constructors.

The same could be said of his first year in GP2 driving for Arden International. After being tried out in the 8 race series GP2 Asia and scoring 1 victory, Pic went on to score a fine win in his first ever GP2 race in Spain. 9 GP2 races and 2 wins meant he really did get everyone's attention. However the rest of the season didn't match the brilliant start mainly due to the Arden car(they only finished 7th in the constructers) - although he did score good results at Belgium and Germany.

For 2011 he moved to Spanish team Barwa Addax who have been at the front in GP2 for a couple of years and once again everything began with a huge bang. He took wins in Spain and Monaco and after scoring points for his pole in Valencia he was leading the championship. However after a double retirement in Valencia, a poor pointless weekend in Britian and a DSQ in Germany he was left well adrift of the dominant Grosjean(in a car he shouldn't have been dominant in to give him credit) and just battling it out with the likes of Bianchi, Fillipi and his team-mate Van Der Garde. It came down to the last race in Italy and with Van Der Garde feeling the pressure and being completely off the pace (21st in the feature race, 13th in the sprint!) Pic looked set to take the 2nd place in the championship especially after he stuck it on poll - even when he finished 2nd in the feature race behind Fillipi he still looked odds on but unfourtunatly a retirement in the sprint race meant that Fillipi and Bianchi nip past him the in table - Fillipi being 2 points in front of him and Bianchi just the 1 - and he finished 4th. Barwa Addax did win the constructers championship though.

By the end of the GP2 season though Pic had already started flirting with the F1 teams and was due to test at Abu Dhabi for both Maruissa/Virgin and Caternham but was dropped from Caternham's test when it pretty much became public knowledge that Marussia had signed him for the following season. He did a decent job at Abu Dhabi without being too impressive and he comes into F1 with little expectations as he just seen as the 3rd in the line of young drivers with a bit of backing that Marussia/Virgin chuck in for a year before they vanish from the scene. Charles Pic however I would say is a slight step up in reputation from Di Grassi and D'ambrosio. From what I've seen of him on his day the boy can be real quality but seems to last the consistancy over a full season. I think he might have benifited from another year in GP2 and seeing if he could have secured that title but I don't think he'll be out of his depth in F1 whether he suffer the fate of D'ambrosio and be impressive without anyone notice really depends on what type of car Marussia put out there next year. Either way I think we might find Pic could put a rocket up Glocks backside for next year. We talk about inter-team battles theres is one I'm interested to see.

Charles Pic does have time on his side and could always do a Grosjean and go back down to GP2 if it does turn out to be a one year thing and he's dumped at the end so he has nothing to lose by taking the seat - his main aim must be to reg beat Glock in the hope that teams higher up the grid - knowing the standard Glock is - take notice of him and offer him a seat. I'm sure its on Charles Pic's mind that Marussia are now Mclaren liked and if a certain Lewis Hamiton decides to jump ship there could be a seat avaliable there and he might be in an ideal situation to show case his skills.

Any thoughts on Charles Pic? Just another Virgin one year fling or long time member of the elite?
Pic of the bunch? Not so sure.

He only really came onto my radar last season in GP2 and did well, though I don't think history will record it as the strongest crop of junior drivers ever. My gut feeling would be that he'll struggle to get on terms with Glock like the others, but I really haven't seen enough to say whether that's unduly pessimistic.
Timo Glock appears to be a good yard stick to measure a new driver against. If Pic manages to beat Glock over the course of the season then he may well have a bright future in F1. If not,
Just another Virgin one year fling
Charles Pic and Jules Bianchi..Nice!;)

You think the young man is eye candy? I'm not sure he's started shaving yet!

Rumours are abound that Pic is having problems getting his sponsors to cough up the promised money for his Marussia seat and could be dropped.

Other rumours that Jerome D'ambrosio has been ringing Pic's sponsors up and making allegations he's actually a criminal can not be confirmed
Small mention for Charles Pic. First track on the F1 cal he's driven before and first time he's out qualified Timo Glock. He was running 20 seconds in front of him at one point too - anyone know what happened to him? BBC didn't show it.
Glock's car had a fuel pick-up problem so he had to run with a much higher fuel load in qualifying so was at a slight disadvantage, but still, he made a mistake on his final run whereas Pic didn't. According to Marussia, in the race while Glock struggled with the balance or lack there of, Pic was managing his tyres well but had to retire due to an " undiagnosed Air Valve System problem on the engine" after a drop in pressure.

Edit: Beaten by Galahad.
Charles Pic is seems very confident that the Marussia update will stand them in good stead and is looking forward to racing on tracks he knows. Ater his showing in Bahrain I'm starting to think the little Frenchmen could be a thorn in Timo Glock's side through out the european season.

Also from the photo in this article it appears Pic is very confident of placing in "Pipe smoker of the year" too.
Ok. So rumours are abound that Mr Pic here has annoyed Timo Glock so much by apparently 'blocking' him at Hungary that he hasn't spoken to him since. Start of a feud apparently.

Well Pic is 6-5 down in quali and 4-2 down in race results they've bot finished however he's out qualified and out raced Timo in the last 2 GP - anyone else think that Glock's anger with his young team-mate might be slightly sour grapes?
Could well be. Im really pleased for Pic, glad he's doing well. If they're receiving equal treatment and equipment, then deal with it Mr. Glock!
As it's getting towards the end of the season now, I wonder if Pic has done enough to keep his seat for next season, something tells me not given Virgin Marussia's record with the second driver (something D'Ambrosio and Di Grassi can vouch for). But we'll see, although I wouldn't be surprised if another driver is picked for 2013.
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