The GP2 Series gears up for its tenth season which starts this weekend at Bahrain International Circuit alongside Formula One
It was on April 23rd 2005 in Imola that the world met with GP2, a new category with the ambition to become the strongest feeder Series to F1. And it delivered all its promises, fulfilling its goals providing motorsport fans with a reliable, safe and competitive car that prepared young drivers to the next step and races that provided edge-of-your-seat entertainment.
Nine seasons later, 24 GP2 drivers have graduated straight into F1, and the spirit and the high standards of the Series have remained unchanged: we’re all about pure racing, being a learning curve for young drivers and pushing the best and most competitive talents out-there to their limits in order to prove their worth in front of the Formula One™ paddock… and the rest of the world!
This season should not be any different with a field made of seven GP2 race winners, eleven podium finishers, nine rookies and drivers that come from nineteen different countries proving how truly international the Series has become in the last decade. May the best man win!
Alexander Rossi EQ8 Caterham Racing
“The challenges of the BIC are the same as all of the Middle Eastern tracks due to the sand which makes the track slippery and means that the grip level is constantly changing. The track temperature can be challenging as well for both the driver and the car. On top of that, the wind speed and direction is also an issue as it changes regularly and very quickly there.
“The BIC is a relatively high intensity track for the cars and is pretty hard on the tyres, which is why Pirelli have chosen the hard and soft compounds for this race. This will reduce degradation. On this track, having a car that is stable at high speed and under heavy braking is important and, as always, a good qualifying will be key for a successful race weekend. Turns one and four are the best place to overtake here in Bahrain so fans should keep their eyes open for lots of action there!”
Pirelli’s racing manager Mario Isola says:
“We’re delighted to be supplying GP2 with tyres in what will be the 10th year of the championship, so first of all, ‘happy birthday’ from all of us to this great series. The GP2 tyres for this year are the same as they were last year: we felt that their characteristics were helping us to provide what we wanted to achieve with close and competitive racing that prepares drivers for Formula One The car is also the same as before, so there was no point in changing. However, the new rules are certainly going to provide an interesting extra perspective, by bringing GP2 even more closely into line with Formula One™. We’re expecting quite a gap in performance between the hard and the soft tyres and this should put the emphasis firmly on strategy. There’s also a further 15 minutes of free practice this year, which will allow the teams to assess the tyre characteristics more accurately before the start of each race. One of the biggest challenges for the teams will be the fact that qualifying takes place at night this year, so the tyre data that they collect during practice could be different to the characteristics seen in qualifying, when ambient and track temperatures will be lower. ”