GP2 series gears up for title decider
After 19 races, 636 laps and 2857km of adrenalin-fuelled, scintillating racing, the 2006 GP2 series championship battle has boiled down to this: a nail-biting, title-deciding season finale this weekend in Monza. Over the next three days we will discover whether it will be Lewis Hamilton or Nelson Piquet Jr who will be crowned 2006 GP2 series champion, and follow in the footsteps of our inaugural title-holder Nico Rosberg. If you thought last year's championship was close, get ready for a rollercoaster.
Eye for an eye: They have matched each other in almost every conceivable aspect in 2006, and with just two races remaining in the season it's still too close to call. Lewis or Nelson? Over the next 72 hours, four track sessions and 53 laps of racing competition we will learn who has what it takes to raise the title and declare himself the master of his peers. The best. The champion.
Racing at Monza, this legendary track steeped in history and romance, could not come at a better time, nor form a more perfect backdrop for the conclusion of this epic season-long battle. The names of some of the finest drivers ever to have lived are etched into the history of la Pista Magica. This circuit has created legends, and as the grand banking majestically curves through the forest like a window to a bygone age, so the historical nature of this place and the racing it has seen in the more than 80 years of its existence is reinforced with one's every step.
This weekend, Lewis and Nelson have the opportunity to write their own chapter in the history of this theatre of speed and racing glory.
Separated by just ten points, it is Lewis who is in the ascendancy. The permutations of the weekend are vast, but to simplify the matter, only one figure is really important: the number 7. If Lewis' championship lead is greater than this figure after Saturday's race, he will be crowned champion. If it is less than seven, the fight will go all the way to the wire on Sunday morning.
But it's not just Lewis and Nelson who have honour at stake in Monza. The battle for third in the championship is still raging. Lewis' team-mate Alex Premat holds that third position with 62 points, just four above the sensation of the second half of the season, Timo Glock. While all attention will be on Lewis and Nelson, the battle for third is just as hot, and will provide a sensational subplot to an already fascinating script.
In the teams' championship, ART Grand Prix cannot be beaten to first place. However, there is an almighty tussle underway for second position between Piquet Sports and iSport International. Separated by just three points, it will be a fight to the last lap to decide who comes out on top.