GP2 to drop Asia Series in 2012


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GP2 Asia, Abu Dhabi, 2010
GP2 Asia, Abu Dhabi, 2010

The GP2 Asia Series will cease to exist next year as the main series expands to include more ‘flyaway’ races.

GP2 CEO Bruno Michel said: “In 2011, almost 85% of the drivers who did the Asia Series this season are taking part of the European series as we are using the GP2/11 car in both categories.

“This year also marked the fact that for the first time the same thirteen teams entered both Series. We talked to them and we decided that it was logical to have one single series from 2012.

“The merger will definitely help drivers gain even more experience on Formula 1 circuits throughout the world and will make the series even more attractive and competitive. We will announce the 2012 calendar and the number of rounds at a later date.”

The last GP2 Asia series featured just four races following the cancellation of two double-header rounds in Bahrain. This was replaced by an event at Imola, in addition to the previous two races at Abu Dhabi.

In its first season during the winter of 2008/09, GP2 Asia featured ten races in four countries, including Dubai, Indonesia and Malaysia. The following year the championship also visited Qatar.

But since 2009 only Bahrain and Abu Dhabi have featured on the calendar.

The series organisers also announced a one-off event to support the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Michel said: “We had planned to go back to Abu Dhabi in November since the beginning of this year.

“Yas Marina is a great track. So we decided that we would have one single race event called The 2011 GP2 Final there.

“It will be a fantastic opportunity for drivers who wish to do GP2 Series next year to try and have their first taste of the category in race conditions.

“It will also be a fantastic occasion for our teams to try new drivers and start working with them.”

Image ?? GP2 Asia

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 49 comments on “GP2 to drop Asia Series in 2012”

    1. One is just a poor excuse for a testing event for the other anyway. Makes sense to make a world-wide series out of it. I don’t know why they don’t just support the F1 at every race. I guess now they will.

      1. Cost, I would imagine. Given how poorly it’s covered (it’s almost impossible to watch it live in the UK) I doubt there’s much money flowing in.

        Pity, I enjoyed seeing them race at Dubai and that slightly bonkers track at Sentul.

        1. Maybe by merging them and being able to squeeze onto all the same freight planes, trains and automobiles that F1 does, it might become financially viable.

          Although then there is the real danger of it becoming ‘just a mini-F1’. Will it ever reach a point where they tack the GP2 grid onto the back of an F1 race and run it multi-class like Le Mans? Thats something I’d be interested to see.

          1. I doubt we would see that. It would be crazy though!

          2. I dont think the F1 teams would be too pleased about being run off the track by those crazy GP2 guys.

            I always quite liked the idea of the asian series, it only worked with 4+ tracks though.

        2. Would it be the same in terms of cost, even if they host it like MotoGP does? Because they Air 125cc, Moto2 and then finally MotoGP.
          Cause that way atleast the F1 fans will surely try to follow the other 2.

          1. follow GP2 i mean.

        3. Caught the GP2 2009 race at Sepang. They were as impressive as F1. Liked the the very sharp shrill of the engines too and wished it could be a world series trailing F1 races.

        4. I’d love it if GP2 came to Melbourne. The Australian Grand Prix desperately needs a proper support category, because the best we had on offer this year was the V8 Supercars…

      2. Since the main reason why GP2 Asia was there has ceased to exist, it’s right to drop it.

    2. Carbon-fibre shard collectors of the Middle East rejoice!

      1. Brilliant comment ^^

    3. GP2 is on Eurosport but I’d really like to see it on Terrestrial. There are a lot of british teams and drivers in it.

      1. Wherever it goes, they need to put it on live, which is where Eurosport are failing badly at the moment.

        I understand it’s a complicated arrangement as they’re a Europe-wide channel that only have UK broadcast rights, but the current situation isn’t good enough.

        1. It’s on French Eurosport as well. However, ITV used to show GP2 when they had the F1 rights. It’s a shame they can’t all come together on a freeview channel. I know the Moto GP, Moto 2 and 125cc all come as a package for the BBC. Shame they can’t do the same with F1, GP2 and GP3. Or have ITV buy back the GP2 rights and also buy the GP3 rights.

          I feel terrible scrounging around for a live stream. I want to be able to watch properly.

          1. Robert McKay
            12th July 2011, 14:50

            However, ITV used to show GP2 when they had the F1 rights.

            Well they showed it live for one season.

            The rest of the time it was part of the International Motorsport highlights, which generally consisted of mostly the F3000 or GP2 and a brief summary of the Porsche Supercup races all squeezed into half an hour (I think).

        2. I thought there was a ‘British Eurosport’ that allowed for that, and that it was a seperate channel from Euro Eurosport.

          I agree though, the amount of times you’ve tweeted that they’ve been showing rowing or curling or cheese rolling or whatever when the SP2 should be on have been far too many.

          I know it’s not exactly entirely above board, but is the way to go… and sometimes, there’s no alternative.

        3. Yea Eurosport is a bit hit and miss. Someone could really market the hell out of the sport and really plug it’s pre-F1 credentials.

        4. Yeah, a real shame its like that. Watching polish and portuguese streams just does not cut it reall.

          With all of the involvement of FOTA people in GP2 teams, couldn’t they push for a bit of a forum to build infrastructure on that as well and push for it to actually be aired!

      2. Why don’t they show it online? That’s one of the greatest strengths of the FIA’s GT1 series in my opinion, that they have a live streaming service as well as an on-demand full race streaming option in case you can’t catch them live. It’s brilliant. I cannot understand why GP2 and F1 do not do exactly the same thing. It’s 2011 and if you want to watch a GP2 race live these days, you have to resort to watching a dodgy illegal stream of Spanish TV coverage online. It’s completely ridiculous.

        1. I love the GT1 series for doing this, and the GT3 (which is equally as fun to watch, if not moreso) does it too.

          Although I’m lucky to have a Freesat TV with the Bloomberg news channel, which shows it live, and then repeats it several times throughout the week. Usually repeating it again in the days running upto the next race.

          Props to them.

        2. Yea GT1 have got it nailed. I must catch up on the Navarra race, thanks for reminding me!

        3. It’s not online because it’s basically Bernie’s championship. And he wants money…

      3. I believe the Beeb were offered it for free and turned it down. Why they can’t stick it on the red button I’m not sure?

        Certainly, most people that attended the race at Silverstone on Sunday will have seen the GP2 event and would probably tune in.

      4. In Italy GP2 is shown live on Rai, race 1 usually on a sports-dedicated channel, and race 2 on a main-stream channel, and all races are always shown. They only missed one of the Monaco races as they were on Friday and Saturday rather than Saturday and Sunday.

        1. In Sweden it’s shown live on Viasat Motor, the same channel that shows the F1 races. It’s a pay channel, however.

    4. I hope Korea would host GP2

      1. Korea does need more events to sustain itself. I wouldn’t be surprised if the FIA World Endurance Cup goes to Yeongam in the future.

        In fact, Korea may work out quite nicely. One of the big deterrants to the GP2 Asia series is the cost. Having to fly the teams everywhere gets expensive quickly. Korea moves up the 2012 Formula One calendar from mid-October to late April, and is quite close to China that a race in Shangahi would also be viable.

        The trick to a decent GP2 calendar with flyaway races lies in picking out the best races. I’d love to see them race at Albert Park and then go on to China to wait for Formula 1 while Formula 1 stops off in Malaysia, but I think Shanghai is the most likely starting event. The catch is that there need to be enough races to justify the merger, but not so many that the series could threaten Formula 1, especially if it’s competitive.

        Merging the two series also gives GP2 the opportunity to go to Montreal and Austin. It’s cheaper to cross the Atlantic than it is to fly to Asia, but it’s never really been a viable prospect until now because there are back-to-back races and just the one championship.

        1. GP2 wont threaten F1 because they are differnet.

          F1 is the peak of talent and ability or as close it can be. GP2 is definately not, otherwise thye would be in F1.

          Just to remind you



          I think to the main audience the difference is pretty obvious.

          1. GP2 wont threaten F1 because they are differnet.

            F1 is the peak of talent and ability or as close it can be. GP2 is definately not, otherwise thye would be in F1.

            But as a spec series, GP2 might be more competitive – especially if one team domaintes Formula 1 and/or rules that have not been widely-received (like the DRS) remain in Formula 1.

            1. It’s hard to find GP2 on the TV, the drivers aren’t the best, all the teams you support aren’t there and the level of driving is clearly worse off.

              Do you want a lollipop?
              Do you want a hard candy on a piece of plastic?

              Same question, slightly different response I’m guessing.

              No matter what happens in F1 many will turn on to watch F1 because it is F1 and it is the pinnacle of motorsport. I know it doesn’t make 100% good sense but many want to see F1 because they want to see F1. In the same way they some will watch Rugby league games but ignore Rugby union. Or visa versa.

              Sure it may, infact is more competitive, (go Garde go!), but many wont watch it and so TV stations wont do deals to show it unless very cheap. And so then people wont watch it. A cycle pretty much.

              Your Australian yeah? Do you follow AFL?, currently it isn’t the most competitive thing around. Collingwood is smashing all, everyone else including Geelong is falling and Geelong were a step up on the rest. No one is changing over to VFL, SANFL or soccer. And barely anyone cared abuot the netball which was won by 1 goal. I didn’t watch it, that was pretty competitive.

              I don’t think they are comparable because of the name and the quality of drivers.

              Just realised, a better analogy would be those who watch F1 and others watch Indy, some watch both. Indy like last year is bloody close again with Franchetti (british) and Power (Aussie) going at it again (quite literally by last race!).

              Both have viewers. But many (like myself) watch almost all F1 races and rarely watch a minute of Indy.

    5. I’m diappointed GP2 Asia is coming to an end. I liked the concept of finding drivers outside the traditional motorsport nations. Even if only one in twenty of them made it into Formula 1, I think the sport is richer for it.

      After all, the best driver in the world is a woodcutter in Siberia – only he will never know it and the world will never see it. At least GP2 Asia took steps to find more talent outside of Europe and Brazil.

      1. It did, but the Idea failed because of the cost of it. What we had this year was just testing in race environment, even before the Bahrain races got dropped.

        The plus side is, that this way we can be certain Abu Dhabi will want to put in some funds to keep the teams coming, that must be good for GP2.
        And they still might do a race or two in the region, if the money is there.

    6. I had a job interview at FOM in January and their timing systems cover the GP2 Asia events. All those I met seemed to speak of the series with distaste and it seems that nobody involved was ever all that interested in it – so from that I would say this is a good thing for everyone.

    7. This does sound like a step forward following this years debacle (out of their hands of course).

      It would be great to see the cars attacking circuits outside Europe.

      1. It was a good idea when there were circuits F1 didn’t use. Now it’s just a second mini-championship where the winner counts a lot less than the main series one because of the few events.

        1. It did seem a bit daft declaring Grosjean (or anyone for that matter) as the champion…no one had a chance to better him!

          1. Bianchi nearly won

    8. Don’t think GP2 will be racing in Singapore, no?

      The night race is lacking some support races…

      1. Where would the put the GP2 padddock? There’s not much space in Singapore, and a lot of the land that the purpose-built sections of the circuit occupy is actually owned by the Singaporean Army.

        1. There WAS a GP2 race there in 2008. They used the support paddock (yes, there is one) which is used by all the support races. It’s located behind the Military Parade Grandstand (at Piquet Corner).

    9. In its first season during the winter of 2008/09

      That’s not correct. The first season was in the first months of 2008, so in the 2007-2008 winter. The second season span over two years, during the winter of 2008-2009.

    10. gp2 asia should’ve been- Yas Marina, Korea (yenognam), Suzuka, Qatar, Shanghai and Sepang. with 2 races per circuit that’s already a 12 race championship. (no singapore coz that’s a temp. track)

      1. But the problem with that is that it’s too expensive to fly everyone everywhere so often. And with the same teams competing in both championships – at most, there was only ever one team, Qi-Meritus Mahara, that raced exclusively in GP2 Asia (replacing Racing Engineering) – it’s pointless to have two championships when one will suffice. Plus, the addition of GP3 broadens the talent pool and makes GP2 Asia a little redundant because GP2 Asia was always treated as a feeder series for GP2 in that it allowed teams to test-run drivers they might not normally consider (who who showed promise, but needed to do some more convincing) without being saddled with them for a full season.

    11. If they did gp2 asia they should do gp2 america
      The drivers are from indycar & nascar

    12. In its first season during the winter of 2008/09, GP2 Asia featured ten races in four countries, including Dubai, Indonesia and Malaysia.

      Slight nitpick, but Dubai isn’t a country, but rather an emirate (think “province”) of the United Arab Emirates (which is the country).

    13. I too think it’s better to have once feeder series.GP2 suits it just like they have Moto2.I think GP3 is unnecessary but anyways,they should have all the races like they have in F1 may be they would like to avoid North & South America for cost cutting.

    14. Lucas Alexander Munro - Mr. Veloce of Britalia - Yours With Wings
      9th September 2011, 20:17

      The Asian series was stupid. I mean only having rounds in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi in the past few years is ridiculous! For me, the Asian series should have been made up of all the tracks that have been in the Asia series since 2008. Bahrain-Sakhir, Malaysia-Sepang, China-Shanghai, Dubai-Dubai Autodrome, Indonesia-Sentul, Qatar-Losail and Italy-Imola (One race outside of Asia won’t hurt). Then it would be a proper racing series!

    15. This Is The Race Calendar
      1. Malaysia
      2. Bahrain
      3. Bahrain (Stand Alone)
      4. Spain
      5. Monaco
      6. Europe (Valencia)
      7. Great Britain)
      8. Germany (Hoeckenhiem)
      9. Hungary
      10. Belgium
      11. Italy
      12. Singapore

    Comments are closed.