Formula Two

GP2 round 9: Monza


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    Pretty much a perfect result for Palmer then, reverse grid pole. Nasr must be kicking himself now..


    I never have been impressed with Nasr, and today reinforced my view that he is nothing special. If I was an F1 team manager and could choose one guy from GP2 to drive for me next year it would easily be Stoffel Vandoorne. Unfortunately for Palmer, he’s been in GP2 a little too long.

    R.J. O’Connell

    Even for a driver with as much tenure as Palmer has, he’s been so consistent AND quick that it really becomes a null issue. It’s not just DAMS either – Richelmi has been nowhere near his pace round-to-round. Palmer likely won’t be a champion like four-year-tenured F3000 driver Damon Hill was, but I’d say he’s more than earned a place in F1 on merit.


    And just because someone isn’t winning everything from a young age, still can become a great, even in this age, when every athlete can get better training than in previous times, can some come forward past the usual/ideal age, like earlier this year in tennis, Wawrinka got mature enough to win his first grand slam at nearly 29 without any realistic chance before. And Palmer seems mature, has great pace and knows quite well the Pirelli tyres (I know they’re not exactly same as in F1 though), so I don’t think any team would make a huge mistake by signing him, or giving him a chance in any way. And he’s only going to be 24 next year, that doesn’t even sound old for me either…


    I agree with both of you. I meant that in my opinion, the F1 teams will view it that he has been in GP2 too long. Look at Valsechi and Leimer. I think that as far as F1 teams are concerned, anyone who doesn’t win, or come close, to the GP2 championship in their first 2 years isn’t good enough for a shot in F1 on talent alone. Obviously when money comes into it that all changes!


    But teams must know that results alone don’t mean anything… Leimer for example wasn’t too spectacular, he was reasonably quick, but didn’t set the world on fire – I think he’s in an ideal place for himself in endurance racing.


    But then Palmer hasn’t been that spectacular lately. Yes he’s quick and consistent, and today’s race was good (aided a lot by others tripping over each other), but he hasn’t won since Monaco. Don’t get me wrong though, I’d love to see him get a shot in F1, I just can’t see it.


    I think it’s a bit of a luxury problem that GP2 has; some of their rank went through the field in a few years and managed to prove their worth in F1 quite fast as well. F1 teams like to play it safe, so whenever someone seems like a mega talent, they sign them. F1 teams do seem to view GP2 this way moreso than FR3.5, since Da Costa was given the time to prove he wasn’t all-amazing-all-of-the-time, while Magnussen had a mediocre 2012 but killed it in 2013 and was signed to McLaren no less, although he was already affiliated with them.

    The GP2 champions who came through the ranks quickly often had some sort of deal with an F1 team as well, Rosberg and Hulkenberg with Williams, Hamilton with McLaren, Grosjean with Renault/Boullier. Alternatively, Frijns had no connections with F1 teams and has nothing to show for winning the FR3.5 title in his first season, much like Leimer for his title in his umpteenth year in GP2.

    In the end, it seems it doesn’t really matter if you win the championship, it’s the connections you have. Which is why Vandoorne and Nasr are more likely to end up in F1 than Palmer, regardless of who wins the title..

    Iestyn Davies

    Interestingly, if we use the F1 points system (no Pole or Fastest Lap points), and only count the ‘F1 race’ (feature), then Vandoorne would now actually be leading the championship on countback – 125 points for both, with 2 wins to 1. He has to be doing FP1s for McLaren next year, replacing Button for 2016. You could say he’s not far off Rosberg, Hamilton and Hulkenberg indeed.

    I genuinely hope that Palmer replaces Chilton for next year. He has better consistency and overtaking skills, with a racing pedigree, even if it took time to form, so this change would improve the F1 grid. If you don’t have adaptability, then you need a lot of money, to ensure that you get the time it takes to get up to full speed, which might be 3 seasons for a Chilton or Palmer.

    Leimer I agree fits endurance racing well. In a few years, he might be in contention to win titles there. Nasr too might fit Pirelli era F1 well – he looks after the tyres and doesn’t get into squabbles that lose you time to those in front. He beat Magnussen in F3 too, so IMO he’s no slouch and worthy of P3 under the F1 points system I outlined above.

    Evans would be right on his tail in 4th, and thus worthy of a ‘Toro Rosso’ like seat, if not the GP2 title next year. Marciello also needs another year, after matching Coletti for 7th/8th, to cut out mistakes, and would probably push Evans close for the 2015 title. Magnussen’s 2012 was very reminiscent of Marciello’s 2014.


    Enjoying the exchange between Marciello and Canamasas in response to the latter’s idiotic driving yesterday:


    And now GP2 commentator Will Buxton weighs in with some very strong words:

    I do not wish to watch on and commentate the death of a racing driver. And for as long as Sergio Canamasas takes the start of a motor race, I fear that I will have to.

    Craig Woollard

    A lot of people seem to forget that Palmer is only a year older than Nasr. I think it’s more a case of perhaps Palmer was put into GP2 at a young age when he wasn’t necessarily ready as oppose to him being in GP2 for too long. Should he win the title then he definitely deserves a chance at Formula One, as should every GP2 Champion have. I think that the fact that Palmer has been in the top 8 in every race this season could well be a huge selling point to a lot of teams. Vandoorne is also within that age range and has been impressive this season but Evans and Marciello are somewhat younger and they definitely still require a year or two to develop at this level. Saying that, with the era of ‘super-young’ drivers upon us, it almost seems as if we may have a situation where as soon as you’re legally allowed to drink in the U.K. then you’re too old for F1.

    Personally I feel that each of the top three in the championship deserve a shot at F1 in 2015. It probably won’t happen, but they have definitely been impressive, especially Palmer who despite having a 12-race winless run, still leads the championship by over 40 points.

    Edit: with regards to Canamasas, a ban is long overdue for him. He clearly isn’t learning, whereas his team mate has done.

    R.J. O’Connell

    The way I look at it, there surely has to be another driver in the single-seater ladder that brings the kind of sponsorship money Canamasas does without the erratic behavior, isn’t there?


    Facu Regalia deserves the spot. I don’t really know if he was sacked from or left Hilmer because of their erratic performance.
    Anyway, Canamasas should take a page out of Cecotto Jr.’s book and learn how to race properly. Grosjean was banned and now look at him, he fought for podiums last year and now he’s pulling off wonders with that car-ish Lotus thing. And Maldonado… umm… nevermind forget it. ;)

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