Formula Two

Abu Dhabi 2011

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    Joel Holland

    Abu Dhabi will host a non-championship event in support of the grand prix this season. As far as I know only Gutierrez is signed-up (sticking with ART). Who else goes where is a mystery, though judging by the names involved in testing the likes of Tom Dillmann, Alexander Rossi, Craig Dolby and Roberto Mehri are all looking to join the party whilst old hands like Ericsson, Razia and Bird could all be back. Whadda we think?

    Prisoner Monkeys

    The event is a non-championship race. I’m pretty sure that most of the GP2 regulars will be there, even if there are no points on offer. I don’t think it will be like the V8 Supercars’ Gold Coast 600 where guest drivers come down for the race.

    Joel Holland

    Not guest drivers, but drivers from GP3 etc looking to race GP2 next year. Grosjean obviously won’t race and I doubt Bianchi, van der Garde or Vietoris will. Melker, Dillmann and Rossi meanwhile all look like they plan to. ART will probably run Bottas and ORT will likely have da Costa in the car. I would say it’ll be 50/50 between established and rookies.

    Joel Holland

    James Calado will race for ART in Abu Dhabi AND for the 2012 season. Surprised about this: firstly I assumed Bottas would get the seat (two GP3 champs at the GP2 team) and secondly it’s a shock that Racing Steps are funding it.


    Only Calado and Ceccon (Coloni) are yet confirmed for the season finale according to

    Felipe Bomeny

    I think Ocean have already confirmed Antonio FDC for Abu Dhabil.

    Meanwhile, according to a rumour from a Finnish daily paper, Valterri Bottas is headed for iSport.

    Joel Holland

    Gutierrez is confirmed at ART. Not sure da Costa has been confirmed but chances are he’ll be at Ocean.

    @Portugoose didn’t know that about Bottas. How’s that come about? Surely it made sense for ART to stick with him, cash permitting, and farm Calado out for a year. Bottas looks like the finished article.


    Regardless of who drives it should be worth watching. Thanks for the heads up, I didn’t realise this was going to be supporting the GP.

    Joel Holland

    The fact that it’ll be a largely rookie field looking to impress people ahead of 2012 it should make it pretty tasty on-track.


    Racing Engineering will run Fabio Leimer (who drove for Rapax in the main series this year) and Nathanael Berthon.

    Press release:

    Following on from their very successful testing at Barcelona, Racing Engineering are pleased to announce that Fabio Leimer and Nathanaël Berthon will be driving for the Spanish team in Abu Dhabi at the season-ending 2011 GP2 Final to be held from the 11th to 13th of November.

    Swiss driver Fabio Leimer has been the undoubted star of the recent GP2 test sessions held at Jerez and Barcelona. Leimer dominated the Jerez test, setting the fastest time in three out of the four sessions held as well as setting the fastest overall time of the two days. Although the Racing Engineering team spent more time at Barcelona in working on race set-ups than looking for quick laps, Leimer once again set the fastest overall time.

    With his previous race-winning experience of GP2 and his form in testing, Leimer must be one of the strongest favourites to take win the Abu Dhabi races.

    Although Frenchman Nathanael Berthon is still a relative newcomer to GP2 racing, his speed in the Barcelona tests and his previous experience with the Racing Engineering team in last year’s GP2 Asia Series means that he too is a serious contender for the 2011 GP2 Final.

    Team Quotes:

    Alfonso de Orléans-Borbón, president of Racing Engineering: “After the great results of both drivers in Barcelona, I am really pleased to continue with them at the Abu Dhabi races. It’s a great opportunity to see their performances under race conditions. I think that both the drivers and the team have a good fit. This makes me confident of good results for that weekend.”

    Fabio Leimer: “The two successful GP2 tests in Jerez and Barcelona with Racing Engineering have shown us what is possible if everything is working well. Therefore, I am happy that I have the chance to additionally test the potential of this team under race conditions. We have obviously already tried different solutions for Abu Dhabi during the Barcelona test and I am actually quite confident we will make a good impression during the race weekend. I am very much looking forward to the races in Abu Dhabi.”

    Nathanael Berthon: “It’s almost a year ago I was racing in Abu Dhabi and I am looking forward to another race weekend there with Racing Engineering. It’s a real pleasure to work with the team again. I am sure that everything will go well during the Abu Dhabi weekend as the car is good. Physically I am strong and I like the track. I was competitive during the Abu Dhabi races last winter and since then I have gained quite a lot more experience. Additionally I know the car and track now. I am really, really confident for the race weekend in Abu Dhabi.”

    Joel Holland

    Leimer’s tested for them a few times now and been quick. Guess he’s looking to do 2012 with them. Not sure if he’s up to all that much though – he’s failed to shine (bar a pair of sprint race wins from pole) in his two years of GP2.

    Berthon – good first year in 3.5, awful second year. Probably decent enough but no world beater. When GP2 has these guys, whilst 3.5 is attracting the likes of Magnussen, probably Nasr, maybe Robin Frijns, you have to say the balance of power has swung.


    Marcus Ericsson will remain with iSport, as he will in the 2012 championship:

    Joel Holland

    Ericsson and Gutierrez have to be pre-race faves at the minute.


    And Tom Dillmann will be iSport’s other driver for Abu Dhabi:

    iSport would like to welcome Tom Dillman into the team for the GP2 Series Abu Dhabi Finale which is due to take place on 12 and 13 November.

    Paul Jackson, Team Principal

    “Tom has shown great pace and capacity to learn in the recent tests and has demonstrated that he is ready to move up from the GP3 Series. As a GP3 graduate, he is eligible for the special prize fund and we will be hoping to help him secure a share of that.

    Many thanks to the sponsors and individuals who continue to support iSport and our drivers.”

    Joel Holland

    Dillmann taking the wise approach of, “huh, so I’ve finished 14th in GP3, I guess I’m ready for GP2 now.”

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