Formula Two

GP2 round 9: Monza


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    R.J. O’Connell

    Wasn’t Spa fun? Especially that feature race? Man.

    Now we get to do it all over again in Italy. The unshakeable Jolyon Palmer is looking to better his father’s best Monza F1 finish of 14th, as he looks to stave off a charge from series wins leader Felipe Nasr [do Brasiiiiiiil~!]. Raffaele Marciello, now finally a race winner at Spa, is looking to finish what had been a horrid season on a high with a second feature race win in a row, but he may once again have to battle top rookie Stoffel Vandoorne for that honor. MP Motorsport driver Marco Sorensen will try to finish this one on his wheels, and not his lid like he did in Formula Renault 3.5.

    Meanwhile, Red Bull Junior Driver Pierre Gasly makes his GP2 Series debut for Caterham, and perhaps the greatest young talent from the finest junior category will be making his debut for Venezuela GP Lazarus in place of all-but-guaranteed-to-be-Indycar-bound Conor Daly. Robin Frijns? Nah. Carlos Sainz Jr.? Nope. Esteban Ocon? Getting colder! Max Vers- oh, you’re not even close. Sergio Campana of the Auto GP World Series. Which should boost the team from 13th in the Team Championship to…12th. Maybe.

    Standings after 16 races

    1st: Jolyon Palmer – 210 pts (first driver to score points in first 16 races)
    2nd: Felipe Nasr – 178 pts (does not have a classified finish lower than 8th)
    3rd: Stoffel Vandoorne – 135 pts (eight consecutive Top-10 finishes)
    4th: Johnny Cecotto Jr – 127 pts (new best mark for wins and points in a season)
    5th: Mitch Evans – 110 pts (only driver to win consecutive feature races)
    6th: Stefano Coletti – 98 pts (recorded a win, three podiums, four Fastest Laps – all in sprint races)
    7th: Arthur Pic – 70 pts (no points in three of last four race meetings)
    8th: Julian Leal – 66 pts (has finished ahead of F. Nasr only once since Bahrain)
    9th: Raffaele Marciello – 57 pts (qualified in the top 10 for every feature race this season)
    10th: Stephane Richelmi – 41 pts (Richelmi is still almost an anagram for Michelin)


    GP2 has been great fun; I only managed to catch some of the races starting halfway through the season (I finally found a source for GP2 but it’s not always reliable), but it has been tremendous, close racing.

    I actually find myself looking forward to GP2 races more than some F1 races.

    Iestyn Davies

    I had hoped that the twitter murmur of Dennis Olsen taking that seat would be true.. that would’ve been an interesting match-up with Gasly, to see which one could have done better straight off the bat. But Eurocup to GP2 is a heck of a bounce upwards for anyone.

    Interestingly, Leal only seems to do well when the tyre selection is the harder compounds. In F1 this weekend they have harder compounds at Monza – lets see if the same thing happens in GP2.

    Palmer, Nasr, Vandoorne, Evans, Marciello.. nice to see the talent can still rise up, even in GP2, and impressively for the rookies. If Maldonado continues to underperform – could we have 2014 Cecotto instead? This one is now almost like a straight lined 2012 Maldonado.. Marriage had the opposite effect on both guys!


    From the realms of less-than-five-minutes livery design:

    R.J. O’Connell

    Preview of the 2015 Team Leafield F1 livery.

    Qualifying’s on now, very close so far – Top 25 separated by under 1 second.

    Iestyn Davies

    Haha @andae23.. Spot on @rjoconnell!

    Vandoorne on pole by almost a quarter of a second.. in a spec series, that’s a huge margin, reminiscent of Kvyat in GP3 last year. That 2 tenths covered over half of the grid from the top of the midfield backwards, shows how far in front Vandoorne is.. Pic showed some spark as well! Nasr is now losing it though, and relying on reverse grid poles.. while Gasly has showed how hard it is to just step into a GP2 car and go fast, with no experience of it..

    R.J. O’Connell

    You never know. Palmer and Nasr could implode this weekend, and Vandoorne could hat trick the feature race, pick up points in the sprint, and suddenly those potential snoozers at Sochi and Yas Marina become the grounds for a proper 3-way title fight.


    Bit of a bombshell here – Palmer’s been excluded from qualifying for having too little fuel in his car and will start last. Massive opportunity for Vandoorne and Nasr.


    It’s like Vettel, Abu Dhabi 2012 all over again! :P

    Bradley Downton

    @keithcollantine – Wow, that’s huge! What a way to open the Championship!

    R.J. O’Connell

    And in the immortal words of Scooby-Doo, “Ruh roh.”

    Iestyn Davies

    @rjoconnell What a prediction! One part now looks likely… lets see what happens tomorrow!

    PS. If it were done only on Feature points, I think Vandoorne would actually be second in the standings already, just ahead of Nasr..


    good. spices up the championship a bit.

    Force Maikel

    Good I have been waiting for another bomb to throw open this championship. Doesn’t look good for Palmer if he loses the championship despite having once a massive lead.

    Look what it did to Stefano Coletti, he went from being a hero to become a bit of a laughing stock.

    This is the chance for Stoffel to show McLaren they need to get him in F1.

    Go Stoffel!

    R.J. O’Connell


    1. Vandoorne
    2. Pic
    3. Evans
    4. Richelmi
    5. Negrao
    6. Nasr
    7. Sorensen
    8. Palmer
    9. Coletti
    10. Cecotto
    17. Gasly
    RET. Marciello

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