GP3 2014


Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
So GP3 will once again be back on the tour in 2014 with 9 teams of 3 drivers competing over 9 rounds that consist of 2 races each.

GP3 starts on its 5th year in existence and its fair to say its been a massive success even trumping its big brother series GP2 for talent a lot of the time. Of GP3's 4 previous champions 3 of them now earn their living in F1 (that's Bottas, Guttierez and Kvyat) and the other one is one of the favourites for the GP2 title this year (Mitch Evans) so its most certainly proved its a path to the top. Last year they introduced a new car to the series that, apart from a few aero problems where overtaking was concerned, proved to be a big success and certainly produced a level playing field with 10 winners from 16 races and now the car has been tweaked, with the help of Kimi Raikkonen no less, we should be in for a good year.

The season doesn't kick off until May in Spain and of the 27 seats available only 11 are filled so far and I was going to hold off on doing the intro for the season but I've decided to go for it just because its interesting to note that 5 of the 11 seats have been filled by Brits!

GP3 has proved to be a battle between Arden and ART over the years with Carlin holding a watching brief and its those times that have named its line ups early in order to get the best talent.

Arden have gone for a mixture of experience and youth in Robert Visou, Patric Niederhauser and Jann Mardenborough. Niderhauser was one of last years favourite for the title last year but his season ended up being a story of crashed and retirements so he's come back again for another go. 18 year old Romanian Visou showed a lot of talent driving for Arden last year and is back to build on a great year last year and is my favourite for the title. As discussed elsewhere Brit Mardenborough comes from the gaming world into GP3 with backing of Red Bull and will be an interesting one to watch (Fenderman has his eye on him).

ART have gone for drivers with previous experience in GP3 in unimpressive Swiss driver Alex Fontana and Bristols very own Dino Zamparelli (is that a cheer I hear from McZiderRed ?). I can't say its the most impressive line up although Zamparelli has shown some promise when he's not spearing into his team mate at the first corner.

British team Carlin have gone for 2 young Brits in Red Bull backed Alex Lynn and the very unbritish sounding Emil Bernstorff. Both are new to GP3 but both have shown a lot of potential. There is no doubt that the pressure with be on Lynn to produce as the senior Red Bull junior driver and he will be expected to at least challenge for the title. As we saw with Sainz Jr last year though it doesn't always work like that.

As for the other teams we known that Jimmy Erikson is returning with Russian Time and Victor Carbone and Roman De Beer will be driving for Tridant but the only other driver of not to be announced is Nick Yellowy who will be driving for Status in 2014. Yellowly is an old guy in the series at the age of 24 but has been competitive in every series he's entered (5th in world series 2012, 6th in GP3 in 2013) and so you should expect him to challenge at the front. Yellowy is severely under funded but very quick and its hard not to cheer him on.

So we'll known more about GP3 as the line ups are confirmed but make sure you make a note of its start date on the weekend of the Spanish Grand Prix as full coverage will be on Sky and you can always expect some action.
The amazing Dean Stoneman has been confirmed in the Marussia line up.

For those of you who don't know the story Stoneman was the F2 champion in 2010 and was even testing with Williams but was then diagnosed as being in the advanced stages of Cancer. After 3 years of battling and beating the illness he returned to single seater racing near the end of last year and jumped straight into a GP3 car for the first time ever at the last round in Abu Dhabi and got a 2nd place finish.

Without his illness I'm pretty sure he'd be in F1 by now and to come back at the level he did after being so ill is mind blowing.

Think I know who I'm cheering on this year now.
GP3 kicks off this weekend and look set to be a battle of the Brits as the four testing session have been topped by 4 British drivers in Bernstoff, Yellowly, Stoneman and Lynn.

All at different teams too.

Have to say the GP3 looks like its going to be close this year!
Not sure if anyone is following this but the sprint race in Austria was pretty tasty with some pretty good overtakes.

There are a lot of quick Brits in this series in Lynn, Bernstoff, Stonemen, Yellowly, Zamperelli and Mardenborough the main ones. Looking forward to hearing the support they get at Silverstone next weekend.
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