Formula 2 GP2 2014

RasputinLives

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So GP2 fans the 2014 season is just over 2 months away and its time to take a look over who and what we'll be seeing this year. As pointed out by our own sushifiesta, on thread over on the F1 forum, the GP2 cars will still be V8 engines and this year will be far closer to the speed of the F1 cars than in previous years meaning drivers have even more of a chance to show they should be in the main show of the meeting.

As usual the GP2 series will follow the F1 series around being split into a feature race on a Saturday and a reverse grid race on a Sunday. The GP2 will run on the same weekends as all the European rounds of F1 as well as the weekends in Bahrain, Russia and Abu Dhabi. That gives us 11 rounds and 22 races. No Malaysia or Sinagpore this year but GP2 will be taking on Austria and Russia for the first time.

The opening weekend is the 4-6th April at Bahrain but the first test is being held over the 11th, 12th and 13th March. The GP2 teams are always slow to announce their driver line up's due to them having to wait until F1 negotiations are over but we do have a good idea of a portion of the grid already with the current line up being as follows:

Russian Time - Car#1 - TBA and Car#2 TBA

Carlin - Car#3 Julian Leal and Car#4 TBA

Racing Engineering - Car#5 TBA and Car #6 TBA

DAMS - Car 7# Jolyon Palmer and Car 8# Stephane Richelme

ART Grand Prix - Car 9# Stoffel Vandoorne and Car 10# Takuya Izawa

Hilmer Motorsport - Car 11# Daniel Apt and Car 12# TBA

Rapax - Car 14# Simon Trummer and Car 15# TBA

Arden International - Car 16# Rene Binder and Car 17# Andre Negrao

EQ8 Caterham International - Car 18# Rio Haryanto and Car 19# Alexander Rossi

MP Motorsport - Car 20# TBA and Car 21# TBA

Trident Racing - Car 22# TBA and Car 23# TBA

Venezuela GP Lazarus - Car 24# TBA and Car 25# TBA

Campos Racing - Car 26# Arthur Pic and Car 27# TBA


So like I said there are still plenty of seats to fill the most important one's being for Russian Time and Racing Engineering as they are the teams I expect to challenge. Of the drivers we do have there is no doubt that momentum is with Jolyon Palmer and Alexander Rossi who came on strong at the end of last year and you'd have to list them as current favourites for the title if it wasn't for the introduction of Stoffel Vandoorne. Vandoorne switches over for the 3.5 world series so he can get on with his McLaren reserve driver role and is instantly one of the favourites to win the thing not just because of the form he showed last year but also because he jumped in a GP2 car for the first time at the end of last season and was nearly half a second faster than the rest of the field.

Other drivers who have made the switch from the World Series are Negrao and, the little brother of Charles, Arthur Pic although the switch from those pair appears to be more out of desperation at not doing well in the World Series over the last few years rather than a preference.

Experienced drivers who may surprise us this year are Leal and Richelme who have both shown themselves to have speed in the past and one of those could be the surprise men to step up similar to Leimer and Valsecchi.

The talent to come? Well there is plenty out there. Personally I'm hoping someone like Russian Time who don't ask a driver for a budget give Robin Frijns a full season and I'm also hoping for Tio Elinas to be picked up as well. Ex GP3 champion Mitch Evans should make a return to the series for a second year and if he does he would join the list of favourites. The ever consistent Felipe Nasr is also likely to join the line up where hopefully he can finally break his duck when it comes to GP2 wins. I'm also hoping that Connor Daly and Jack Harvey jump up from GP3 to be in this series as well but of course all this depends on budget.

Anyways will we all be watching this year and what are our hopes and expectations? We all know GP2 can be amateur hour sometimes and it is beginning to mean less and less as for the past 2 years the champions have not graduated to F1 but lets face it.....its never dull to watch!
 
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RasputinLives

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Sorry to reply to my own post but Ferrari have announced that their academy driver, highly rated 19 year old Italian Raffaele Marciello, will run in the 2014 GP2 series.

They haven't announced which team yet but as he tested with Racing Engineering previously it is expected to be them. Racing Engineering are the team Liemer won with last year.

Marciello dominated European F3 last year and took the title. He and Vandoorne are the hot kids on the blick right now and both were expected to run in the World Series rather than GP2 in 2014. It seems after a little dip GP2 is pulling in the top young talent again.
 

RasputinLives

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So Kimya Sato (runner-up in Auto GP last year) and Facu Regalia (runner-up in GP3 last year) have joined the GP2 grid but there is still a lot of big seats to fill.

Sammy Bird however will not be coming back as he's signed up for American Sportscar racing.

Felipe Nasr also looks doubtful as he says he's looking for a reserve F1 spot with Friday P1 sessions rather than another year of racing.

Its all quite on the James Caledo front too.
 

RasputinLives

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No relation as far as I know F1Yorkshire

So Russian Time have announced Mitch Evans in their number one seat with a Russian kid called Markalov at number 2 whilst Marciello has been confirmed at Racing Engineering.

For me we have our 4 title contenders now in Evans, Palmer, Marciello and Vandoorne. I'd be surprised if it wasn't between those guys although maybe Leal could spring a surprise.
 

RasputinLives

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Yes we all must remember to sound as French as possible when we say his name. Maybe we should give him a French smiley when we write his name.

Berthon :moustache:
 

RasputinLives

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GP2 test finished with very under funded Brit Jon Lancaster topping the times. Lancaster pretty much knocked Robin Finjs off his pedastal last season and scored a couple of wins whilst doing it so lets hope he lands a seat.

Johnny Ceccto came second but he's always been quick its just he can't make it through a race without either delib pushing someone off track or coursing a pile up.

Other than these two it was very much the 3 I expected at the top in Palmer, Evans and Vandorne. It looks like Danny Abt will be mixing it with them too.

Role on round 1 in Bahrain!
 

RasputinLives

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The full line up for GP2 this year

Russian Time - Car#1 - Mitch Evans and Car#2 Artel Markalov

Carlin - Car#3 Felipe Nasr and Car#4 Julian Leal

Racing Engineering - Car#5 Raffaele Marclello and Car #6 Stefano Coletti

DAMS - Car 7# Jolyon Palmer and Car 8# Stephane Richelme

ART Grand Prix - Car 9# Stoffel Vandoorne and Car 10# Takuya Izawa

Hilmer Motorsport - Car 11# Daniel Apt and Car 12# Fabio Regalia

Rapax - Car 14# Simon Trummer and Car 15# Adrian Quaife-Hobbs

Arden International - Car 16# Rene Binder and Car 17# Andre Negrao

EQ8 Caterham International - Car 18# Rio Haryanto and Car 19# Alexander Rossi

MP Motorsport - Car 20# Jon Lancaster and Car 21# Daniel De Jong

Trident Racing - Car 22# Johnny Cecotto Jr and Car 23# Axcel Jefferies

Venezuela GP Lazarus - Car 24# Conor Daly and Car 25# Nathaniel Berthon

Campos Racing - Car 26# Arthur Pic and Car 27# Kimya Sato
 

RasputinLives

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So furst quali ended up with Palmer on pole from Vandorne and Abt. Mitch Evans looked on the pace too but got stuck in traffic and ended up 7th.

Looks like its going to be a very close season in GP2.
 

RasputinLives

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Yep he pretty much smashed it whilst all the other 'experienced' drivers messed up the tyre strategy.

He won in his debut race in the 3.5 series and he's done the same in GP2. The guy is pretty special I think.

Was also impressed by Izawa who went from 23rd to 6th and looked very racey. He is backed by Honda and I thought he was there for his nationality but its pretty clear he has speed
 

F1Yorkshire

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Yeah he suffered front wing damage quite early on. Not sure if he managed to get back out again though.
 

RasputinLives

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So its comedy keystone cops time in the GP2 but more from the stewards than the drivers. Not sure what the start was all about not to mention the pushing cars round at the end of the pitlane whilst the start was taking place.
 
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