2012 GP2 driver market
- 27th February 2012, 20:00 at 8:00 pm #183711US_PeterParticipant
Well that kills my hopes that Alexander Rossi would be confirmed at Caterham. Still wonder what the big announcement is he’s alluded to on Twitter recently.27th February 2012, 20:09 at 8:09 pm #183712Bradley DowntonParticipant
Alexander Rossi is driving in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series this year27th February 2012, 20:41 at 8:41 pm #183713
It’s a bit weird that they put Rossi in 3.5 again – where he can only really improve by winning the title – and not GP2. I guess, judging by the signing of Gonzalez, they’re just using that seat as a money maker. Rossi undoubtedly looks the most promising youngster on Caterham’s books.27th February 2012, 21:53 at 9:53 pm #183714AnonymousInactive
I’m really amazed (negatively) by the amount of experience GP2 drivers now have. Once it was like lower formulae, where drivers stayed for two years at maximum, and the really good ones won in their debut season (Rosberg, Hamilton, Hulkenberg); now the drivers with little experience have not proven themselves worthy of the series (like Cecotto or Leal) whilst many others are simply not good enough for F1 and hang around GP2 with the occasional win (Valsecchi, van der Garde).
The interesting drivers (Gutierrez, Calado, Nasr, Melker, and, to an extent, Leimer and the other GP3 graduates) don’t have to face drivers with similar experience, but who have been in the sport for four years. Instead of prevailing by pure talent, they struggle as experience counts a lot and helps the untalented. So they need to remain for a further season to have more experience and finally beat the “usuals”, wasting time in the series.28th February 2012, 0:41 at 12:41 am #183715Prisoner MonkeysParticipant
It’s a bit weird that they put Rossi in 3.5 again – where he can only really improve by winning the title – and not GP2.
I’m guessing they want to keep him out of the limelight. GP2 follows Formula 1 almost exclusively, so Rossi would be on display at every race. Someone could swoop by and pick him up.
They may also feel that the talent in Formula Renault is much stronger than that in GP2, and so they want to give him a bit more of a challenge to evaluate him.28th February 2012, 0:58 at 12:58 am #183716ZadakMember
I look forward to seeing Rio Haryanto in action
Indonesia is fairly alien to motorsports, but being one of the world’s most populated nations, I’m sure he has the sponsorship to get into F1 at some point (see Vitaly Petrov as an example). Let’s see if he can hold his own in GP2.28th February 2012, 1:05 at 1:05 am #183717Prisoner MonkeysParticipant
@thezadak – Haryanto has backing from Marussia, who are now sponsoring Carlin in GP2. Sure, he’s Indonesian and they’re Russian, but that’s probably a good thing; as you say, motorsport doesn’t have much presence in Indonesia, so it would be difficult to attract sponsors. But, with Marussia’s backing, Haryanto can show his worth in GP2, and encourage some local interest. Especially if Marussia look to put him in Formula 1. Based on his results so far, I think he could make it.28th February 2012, 19:46 at 7:46 pm #183718
Testing began at Jerez today – here’s a look at some of the new driver/team combos (click to enlarge):5th March 2012, 20:28 at 8:28 pm #183719
Nathanael Berthon confirmed at Racing Engineering alongside the already-announced Fabio Leimer:6th March 2012, 20:28 at 8:28 pm #183720
Jon Lancaster joins Ocean:6th March 2012, 20:33 at 8:33 pm #183721
Here’s the 2012 GP2 driver line-up as it stands. Just three places left now and no sign of who’s going to be driving for Rapax:
Johnny Cecotto Jnr
Lotus (formerly ART)
Caterham (formerly AirAsia)
Giedo van der Garde
Venezuela GP Lazarus (taken over from Super Nova)
Rio Haryanto6th March 2012, 21:57 at 9:57 pm #183723AdamParticipant
GP2 had a chance to be special this year but it’s spoiled by the ludicrous expense of it. FR3.5 used to be the poor cousin of GP2 but this year it’s field is comfortably better. Money has always bought average drivers a seat in the lower formula (and F1) but a few teams this year stand out as missing a trick. In particular Marussia not promoting Robert Wickens to GP2 is such a shame after the great year he had. Haryanto has had 2 average seasons in GP3 so they’ve taken the money over genuine talent. Caterham are also disappointing in taking Gonzalez and all his cash over Rossi. Gonzalez will never get near F1 on talent but Rossi genuinely could. Such a shame.
Add to those two, Roberto Merhi who will probably end up in DTM, Marco Wittmann, Valteri Bottas, Sam Bird, Jules Bianchi, Kevin Magnussen, Richie Stanaway, Lewis Williamson and Alexander Sims who should all be in GP2 and most would be if they had the budget. That would be a proper feeder series for F1.6th March 2012, 22:32 at 10:32 pm #183724
@adamdaly82 Agreed. It is, at best, an average field. Valsecchi or van der Garde will probably win it and they are, at best, average racing drivers (by F1 standards, of course).
Ricardo Teixeria tested for Rapax today. He’s arguably worse than Gonzalez. Someone of that ability level shouldn’t be getting into F1’s feeder series when Wickens is sitting around with nothing to drive.6th March 2012, 23:05 at 11:05 pm #183725AdamParticipant
@Joel Holland Teixeria has no business being in a formula as prestigious as GP2 and he wasn’t even the worst driver at the test today! There are some great prospects in GP2 this year (the GP3 graduates and Nasr particularly) but the series loses a lot of respect when you list the drivers that should be competing this year but aren’t.
With Sky giving GP2 great coverage it is a fantastic platform for young drivers (and sponsors) but it loses a lot of the shine. I’ll still look forward to the races but i’ll keep a closer eye on FR3.5. Van der Garde, Valsecchi , Ericsson, Gutierrez and Colletti should compete for the title and hopefully the likes of Calado, Chilton, Palmer and Nasr can get in the picture too.7th March 2012, 9:10 at 9:10 am #183726
@adamdaly82 It is fair to say Teixeira has no business in the series; same goes for Gonzalez, whose decision to nickname himself ‘Speedy’ must be an attempt at irony, as he’s anything but.
If Valsecchi or van der Garde win the title it’ll be a bit underwhelming as DV is in his 5th season and GvdG his 4th. That’s doesn’t say a great deal about them. Both are also old for the level. In fact, both are older than Sebastian Vettel.
Of the GP3 graduates Calado looks the most interesting and will have the equipment to back it up at ART. I’m sure they see it as a two year programme, as they do with Gutierrez, so Calado will get a bit of breathing space this year. Of the other GP3 grads, Haryanto was decent but never stellar, Trummer was invisible and Melker was impressive. That said, given that he’s at Ocean alongside a fellow rookie in Lancaster (not sure where he found all that money) I’d expect him to struggle badly this year, as Ocean always do when they run rookies.
Coletti looks decent though whether Coloni can maintain what they had with Filippi is questionable. Chilton has had two seasons and never shone. He’s only there because his dad’s a millionaire. Ditton Palmer, though his F2 results were okay (okay, it’s F2 and Stoneman trounced him).
For me the most interesting thing about this season will be how it sets up 2013, when we could actually have a proper title battle. With Nasr and Calado both having a year’s experience and top teams they could have a titanic scrap for the title, and no-one can question those two’s pace. That said Valsecchi and van der Garde will probably be back for another pop in ’13…
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