Two of GP2's original drivers are back in Formula One's main feeder series. Veterans Adam Carroll and Ernesto Viso replace a pair of Brazilians, Antonio Pizzonia and Sergio Jimenez. Carroll unseats Antonio Pizzonia at Giancarlo Fisichella's FMS ...
Two of GP2's original drivers are back in Formula One's main feeder series. Veterans Adam Carroll and Ernesto Viso replace a pair of Brazilians, Antonio Pizzonia and Sergio Jimenez. Carroll unseats Antonio Pizzonia at Giancarlo Fisichella's FMS International squad, while Viso steps into the Racing Engineering cockpit vacated by Jimenez.
Signs were evident of switches when Viso and Sergio Hernandez filled the two aforementioned seats at last week's official test at Paul Ricard. Viso was in the FMS seat with Hernandez in for the driver he shares a first name with. The test capped a month-long break prior to this weekend's races at Magny-Cours.
FMS was succinct in announcing their driver change. "British driver Adam Carroll will substitute Antonio Pizzonia from the next GP2 race at Magny- Cours in France. Fisichella Motor Sport International wishes to thank Antonio Pizzonia for his contribution and especially for his work with the set up and development of the FMSI car during the pre-championship tests."
The team has struggled mightily this season, Pizzonia scoring only one point with Turkish driver Jason Tahinci yet to get on the scoreboard.
Pizzonia and Campos Grand Prix driver Giorgio Pantano entered this year as the only two paid drivers in the series and as a pair of F1 dropouts hoping their performances would vault them back to the big leagues. That chance looks less likely for the "Jungle boy", as Pizzonia will be off to search for other opportunities.
Likewise 2007 has not been easy going for Carroll. After racing the previous two years full-time in GP2, Carroll looked to opportunities in Champ Car after serving as a standby for Justin Wilson for the last race in Mexico City. Nothing came to fruition and thus he shifted to DTM, driving a two-year-old Audi A4 and failing to score a point.
FMS should improve if Carroll, a three-time winner in GP2, gets back up to speed quickly. "I am really excited about getting back into GP2 with FMSI - it is a great opportunity and I cannot wait to drive the car," Carroll quipped. "I know I have missed a few rounds but there are still plenty of races left to get some good results. FMSI are a very professional team to be working with."
Racing Engineering, in contrast, has amassed 10 points so far - 6 from lead driver Javier Villa including a runner-up finish in the Barcelona sprint race. Viso won a pair of races for iSport last year and looks to bring his experience to lift his new team onto the top step of the podium.
"Ernesto will be a valuable addition for the team thanks to his knowledge of GP2 after competing in the series for the last two seasons," the team said. "With Villa and Viso, Racing Engineering presents in France a team with a combination of youth and talent and a win is a real possibility."
Viso's year has been quiet to this point, having been linked to a testing role with Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 but that deal has fallen through. The Venezuelan has some Formula 1 experience as a Friday driver for Spyker at last year's Brazilian Grand Prix.