The GP2 series moves onto its eighth round this weekend, at the Hungaroring just outside Budapest, Hungary. The circuit is a notoriously tricky venue, where corner follows corner, giving the drivers no opportunity to rest, and no margin for error.
The GP2 series moves onto its eighth round this weekend, at the Hungaroring just outside Budapest, Hungary. The circuit is a notoriously tricky venue, where corner follows corner, giving the drivers no opportunity to rest, and no margin for error. The sheer number of turns makes the track incredibly difficult on which to pass, but it has been possible since a number of corners were re-designed in 2003. The GP2 series arrives with its hopes high for yet another enthralling weekend as the battles for both the teams and drivers' championships reach a critical stage.
> New faces. This weekend, the paddock welcomes a new driver, Giorgio Mondini, to the GP2 series family. Giorgio is the reigning Formula Renault V6 Champion, and will be racing alongside double race winner Olivier Pla at DPR following Ryan Sharp's request to have his contract ended early. A proven race winner over his career to date, Giorgio has been up against a number of GP2 series drivers in the past and is sure to be eager to renew old rivalries over the remainder of the 2005 season.
> Catch up. Last weekend two very different but equally hard-fought races at Hockenheim saw Nico Rosberg and his ART Grand Prix team take a huge points haul to overtake Arden International at the top of the teams' championship. Nico himself set the record for the most points taken by a single driver in a GP2 series weekend to date (19 out of a possible maximum of 22) to cut Heikki Kovalainen's championship lead from 20, to just six points. For the first time in the GP2 series, the Saturday and Sunday race winners were identical to those at the previous round. With Nico taking the spoils in Race 1, Olivier Pla once again showed he had the mettle to bring home the bacon in Race 2 for his DPR team, just as they had in Silverstone two weeks earlier. There was a new points scorer too, in the shape of Racing Engineering's Borja Garcia.
> What about the championship? The question on everyone's lips in Hungary is sure to be thus: Who, out of Heikki and Nico, will leave the Hungaroring on top of the championship table?
With just six points separating the two drivers, competition is sure to be fierce. As Nico showed last time out, a great weekend from one driver in comparison to an ordinary weekend from another, could flip this championship on its head. And with a whole host of drivers waiting to pounce on the leading pair, it's not just each other of whom the current championship combatants need to be cautious.
In Hockenheim, the lead in the teams' championship changed hands for the first time this season. Arden International, for so long the benchmark in the series, have slipped from the top spot. ART Grand Prix's sensational recent show of form has given them the championship lead. Super Nova International and iSport International are equal on points in third and, like their lead drivers Adam Carroll and Scott Speed, are ready to make the most of any slip up which might befall the two protagonists at the head of the standings.