Formula Two

2015 GP2 drivers and teams

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  • #287293

    The GP2 grid for next year is already starting to take shape.

    Julian Leal is staying at Carlin for his fifth year in the category, which is a blow for those hoping the grid won’t be stuffed with deadwood mediocrities treading water. Here’s the PR guff:

    Julian Leal will stay with Carlin for the 2015 GP2 Series. The Colombian racer who stood on the podium this season, will remain with the British squad to build on the progress made in 2014. Leal is the first driver to be confirmed in Carlin’s 2015 line-up.

    Leal will remain with Carlin next season after partnering Felipe Nasr in 2014 in Carlin’s GP2 team. Leal started his season in strong fashion, claiming two podium positions at the season opener in Bahrain following some fantastic overtaking manoeuvres around the Bahrain International Circuit.

    The Colombian racer was a regular top ten qualifier, but unfortunately some bad fortune meant Leal didn’t quite reach the potential promised at the opening round, despite often being a pace setter in practice and setting the fastest lap of the race in both Barcelona and Monza.

    Speaking about his 2015 campaign, Leal said, “I’m very happy to have the opportunity to stay here one year more. With all the teams I have worked with this is the best for me; it’s a team that listens to what you say and follows you and advises you and this is good for me because I can learn a lot in a good environment. I’m very happy for this opportunity, I want to prepare a lot and work hard for next year and get the car as perfect as we can. I want to start the year as we did this year [with a podium] but then maintain that performance for the whole season. I’m very very happy to be here for another season.”

    Trevor Carlin added, “We’re very happy that Julian has decided to stay with us for a second season. Based on the pace we have as a team and Julian has as a driver, together we should have had better results this year. Next year we intend to deliver our full potential with Julian who is a delight to have at Carlin; he is a great team player and great to work with.”

    Leal will take the opportunity to carry out a detailed test programme with Carlin in Abu Dhabi this week, completing all three official test days around the Yas Marina Circuit.

    #287294
    Bradley Downton
    Participant

    Don’t hold back eh @KeithCollantine ;-)

    #287298
    SP
    Participant

    That’s the problem with racing in Europe. It’s about the size of your chequebook most of the time.

    #287500
    Iestyn Davies
    Participant

    By ‘bad fortune’, I think they mean that not all the races were run on the harder tyre compounds, the only ones that Leal seemed to get the car performance out of.

    #287502
    R.J. O’Connell
    Participant

    I thought for sure that Leal would have been jumping to Indycar or Indy Lights.

    #287511
    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #287524
    SP
    Participant

    @ R.J. O’Connell that would be Valsecchi.

    #287529
    R.J. O’Connell
    Participant

    @jb001 I know about Valsecchi’s test with SPM. I’d just assumed Leal would be moving to North America this season given his connections to Juan Montoya.

    In reality, I’m not too bothered by any of these moves. GP2 and WSR had roughly the same amount of top-level F1 prospects last year, and its not as if the midfield of 2nd and 3rd-year drivers in WSR is leagues better than the midfield of 2nd to 5th-year drivers in GP2. With drivers like Latifi, Stuvik, Kirchhoefer, Ocon, Bernstorff, and Stanaway testing this week, if they were to all somehow make the GP2 grid next year – that’s a very good haul of promising talent coming into GP2 to join those who will likely return – Vandoorne, Marciello, Gasly, and Evans.

    #290119

    The first knock-on effect of the FIA’s superlicence points change: Red Bull put both their junior drivers in the DAMS GP2 team.

    Given that Gasly dipped a toe in GP2 late last year, Red Bull must have had an idea what was coming. He was the first of their young drivers to race in GP2 since Sebastien Buemi six years earlier, and in the intervening period the highest category any Red Bull junior driver raced in was Formula Renault 3.5.

    #290121

    Interestingly, Lynn could fail to finish a race all year and still be eligible for F1 in 2016.

    Gasly, however, needs 15 points, so he’ll have to finish at least fourth in the championship to be eligible to race in F1 next year:

    Who will be eligible to race in Formula One next year?

    #290136
    R.J. O’Connell
    Participant

    So much for the deadwood mediocrities. Holy post-watershed vocabulary, that’s a strong team DAMS put together.

    #290138
    Bradley Downton
    Participant

    Gasly was medicore at best in his stint last season. He best improve.

    #290145
    R.J. O’Connell
    Participant

    So were Caterham Racing as a whole as a team on their way out the door.

    #290146
    hunocsi
    Participant

    As far as I know he came in without any testing so it would have been surprising had he performed better. During the post-season tests he was fastest (although that was with DAMS).

    #290307
    Anonymous
    Inactive

    Stoffel Vandoorne and ART will be together again in 2015!

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