Formula Two

Which of the 2011 GP2 drivers should be in F1 in 2012 – or later?

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    As I’ve said before I think Romain Grosjean deserves a chance and he’s got a good chance of getting there via Renault.

    But I’m not sure anyone really stands out as definitely being worthy of a place.

    Luca Filippi did very well to take second. I expected a lot more of Jules Bianchi but he did better in the second half of the season.

    I was impressed by Esteban Gutierrez but I think he definitely needs another year in the category which, wisely, he is having.

    What about the likes of Charles Pic, Giedo van der Garde or Sam Bird?


    Sam Bird, to me, is overrated. I really don’t see what the fuss is about.


    I didn’t think there were many superstars in GP2 2011 to be honest. Even Grosjean who took the title quite comfortably did it with a hit and miss season didn’t he? I mean, he could dominate one race and fluff the next…


    I think Romain will make an appearance in F1 with Rnault again.

    Jules was good but erratic I thought. If he didn’t crash so much I’m sure he’d have impressed me :P I think he’ll get in with Sauber or possibly a new team the year after next. I think he’ll have one more go at GP2 but if he doesn’t take the title then Ferrari may get bored waiting.

    I like Pic and vd Garde but I’m never quite sure about them. They can be good but I never feel it’s that special or consistent but that’s just me. I wouldn’t be surprised if they filtered into F1 the year after next.

    Bird is my second favourite in the series (Bianchi first and not just because of his Ferrari connection). I genuinely believe he could be good. Doesn’t he have Merc and Mclaren connections? But there’s no way he’ll get a top seat and even their sort of junior team FI has competition for their seats this year and I just don’t think he’s there yet.

    Apart from Grosjean I just don’t see any GP2 driver being worthy of a go at F1 for next season. Probably some will surprise and pop up with a little help from sponsors but none have really stood out for me just yet even if there is potential. I could see a few of the current crop come in after 2012 however.

    sbl on tour

    apart from grosjean, the main man is adam carroll, “stand up for that ulsterman”

    Prisoner Monkeys

    Grosjean is it. None of the others have been particularly spectactular. I’d add Giedo van der Garde to that list, but he went from second to fifth overall in one fell swoop.


    Grosjean at a maybe. Give him a shot during pre-season testing to see how he fares. If you put the top-4 Formula Renault 3.5 series drivers of 2011 into the GP2 cars this year, I expect they’d fill the top 5, with Grosjean in there somewhere.

    GP2 just hasn’t been good at all this year.

    Prisoner Monkeys

    That’s because there’re been a vacuum of talent of late. When the Formula 1 grid was expanded in 2010, a whole heap of drivers were promoted from GP2 – Hulkenberg, Petrov, di Grassi, Kobayashi, d’Ambrosio and Chandhok – and then Perez and Maldonado got promoted for 2011. So that’s eight drivers who were in GP2 and stepped up; there was always going to be a void at the pointy end of the GP2 grid. But now that GP3 is established, they’re producing some pretty good drivers. I’m expecting to see Bottas, Calado, Melker, Evans, and maybe Stanaway, Haryanto, Bortolotti (Formula 2), Nasr (British F3), Merhi (3 Euroserie) and/or Korjus and Rossi (FR3.5) in GP2 next year.


    Well, if you say later, I would always say Jules Bianchi. He looked great in Formula 3 and I guess his “questionable” 2011 season is due to a lack of experience. He will be on F1 level in 2013 or 2014 for sure.

    Bradley Downton

    Im sorry but i really dont rate Grosjean, i think if he gets into F1 this year it’ll be because he’s been lucky that Kubica’s still out and Renault have bizzarely not chosen Senna, or dropped Petrov. Either that i’ve heard he has money, maybe HRT?
    As for others, i rate van der Garde and Bird. Giedo has been in GP2 for years and is vastly experienced, plus he has links with Williams spsonsor McGreggor and they are really pushing for him to get a seat.
    The reason so many people rate Sam Bird is because of his all out ‘Move-out-of-the-way-because-im-coming-through-or-dont-and-we’ll-crash’ attitude in his first year. I must admit though as a Sam Bird fan, i was hugely dissapointed with his second campaign, i saw none of that fighting spirit, or very little at the most.
    Also, i dont really rate Pic and Bianchi, Bianchi was crash-kid this year, taking out van der Garde alone on three occasions. Pic just hasn’t really impressed me, there’s been nothing there for me to go, WOW, that was amazing.
    Esteban Gutiérrez will comfortably take Perez or Kobayashi’s seat when the move on from Sauber, just another year in GP2 to learn the traits.
    Ericcson maybe with a smaller team if he can find some more dosh.
    The only other guy i can think of is Colletti. He’s not too bad and is Monagasque, so must have some money somewhere for a seat


    1. Fabio Leimer – he has shown good improvent throughout the season and during the last test sessions at Jerez, but he needs to focus on GP2 for now.

    2. Julian Leal – definitely not.

    3. Charles Pic – had the upper hand on van der Garde in the second half of the season and is aiming for an ART seat for 2012 to challenge for the title. He might deserve F1 in 2013 if he has a good next season.

    4. Giedo van der Garde – started the season well but disappeared. With his experience he can’t wait too much before shining or he might suffer the same fate as Pantano. He might not have won the title but his potential must be already known by the F1 team bosses.

    5. Jules Bianchi – started his season badly, but improved and scored consistently, although giving places away because of silly mistakes (Germany and Italy as examples). He might have been unlucky in GP2 and he showed he can be really good at times and deserves F1 in my opinion.

    6. Esteban Gutierrez – scoring his first win before Bianchi thrilled me and I thought he’d have had a better end to the season. He needs another GP2 season to battle for wins, but he is definitely an F1 candidate for 2013.

    7. Dani Clos – sometimes he can be good, but not one of the most deserving for F1.

    8. Christian Vietoris – he has improved a lot and his testing role for 2012 with Mercedes shows he has backing from an F1 team but he probably will remain in GP2 next season, and can be a driver to watch out for in 2013.

    9. Sam Bird – should’ve done more than what he did, and currently I can’t see him in F1.

    10. Marcus Ericcson – not deserving of F1 at the moment.

    11. Romain Grosjean – obviously he has talent, and experience as well, but he’s won often in his career and deserves to be in F1 in 2012. It’s GP2’s goal to help young drivers reach F1 – how can the most deserving of them fail to do so?

    12. Pal varhaug – unlike Gutierrez, the step from GP3 was not recieved positively and not only does he not deserve F1, but I’d say even GP2, according to his current form.

    14. Josef Kral – no.

    15. Jolyon Palmer – no.

    16. Fairuz Fauzy – he scored his first points in GP2 in his third season – this year. He was beaten by Filippi regularly and I can’t understand why he’s back in F1’s feeder series.

    17. Luca Filippi – he might have more experience than anyone else (107 races) but his second part of the year with Scuderia Coloni was more impressive than Grosjean’s. He found a good place and collected great results every weekend, ultimately becoming the vice-champion. I can’t see him as an F1 winner in future, more because of the teams he’d drive for (a-la Trulli), but he deserves more than GP2.

    18. Michael Herck – thrashed by Filippi, he doesn’t deserve F1 at all.

    19. Davide Rigon – having missed most of the season, he needs to remain in GP2 and continue his simulator testing role with Ferrari, but it’s too early to talk about F1.

    20. Rodolfo Gonzalez – definitely not.

    21. Stefano Coletti – we could see him in F1 in 2013 if he continues his good form of 2011. He was only in GP3 last year and is making rapid progress, but as has been often said, GP2 is now a two-year programme.

    22. Kevin Mirocha – no.

    23. Johnny Cecotto Jr. – no.

    24. Max Chilton – no.

    25. Mikhail Aleshin – he failed to score points in GP2, and despite having won FR3.5 in 2010 he is still too young for F1.

    26. Luiz Razia – having his experience he should’ve had a pole position before the Hungarian round this year. Poor results come between him and F1.

    27. Davide Valsecchi – he had an amazing start to the season, but the way it ended, where he was not beating Razia any more, has made me change my mind, and unless he shines in GP2 next year he can’t land a seat in F1, which I’m sad to say as I was a fan of his, now I am more of Luca Filippi.

    8/25. Alvaro Parente – good results – sometimes better than official drivers – have been mixed with mediocre performances, and F1 is too far away from him.

    17. Adam Carroll – his return to GP2 has been positive, beating his team mate, but obviously if he deserved F1 he’d not be in GP2 after 6 years since he first competed there (which was his best season, with 3 wins).

    19. Kevin Ceccon – he is very young and couldn’t score points in his GP2 outings – but he has just won Auto GP, against the driver that took his place and went on to win 3 races with his car in GP2 – Luca Filippi, by a mere 3 points. He can be a good talent in the future, but it’s hard to see what he can do in the years to come now.

    21. Stephane Richelmi – he beat his team mate, but he wasn’t doing well in FR3.5 before entering GP2. If he wants to reach F1 he needs to win more.

    22. Brendon Hartley – had some good and some bad moments in his few races in GP2 in 2011. If Red Bull counted on him, we can expect some positive results by him, and, who knows, he might end up in F1 some day – not in 2012, though.

    25. Oliver Turvey – had a good debut season in 2010, and if he was given another full season we could see if he deserved F1.


    Grosjean definitely. If the dominant champion can’t get a drive, then it will damage the creditability of the whole series (I know Pantano didn’t get a drive after his 2008 victory, but he was even more experienced at the same level and won by a narrower margin).


    I think that Fat John should get another chance. He was parachuted in to a team that didn’t want to be there that was focussing what efforts they had onto a driver who didn’t want to be there, and by the end of 2009, the Renault was arguably the worst car on the grid.

    Since then Grosjean has gone into and performed well in a number of different series. The only problem is that there are too many drivers either under contract or chasing seats. Renault is going to be the most interesting one to watch; there’s going to be some seriously disappointed people. I reckon that Kubica won’t be ready though.

    Joel Holland

    The standard this year was woeful. When the two seats at Addax (arguably the best team) are filled by a pair of rich kids (with some talent) you have to worry that prices are out of control and that people aren’t getting hired on talent. Are Pic or van der Garde good enough for F1? Not really. And then you’ve the likes of Gonzalez, Chilton, Palmer, Fauzy, Razia, Herck, Mirocha, Varhaug, Leal, Cecotto. That’s nearly half a grid of rubbish drivers with big money behind them. Meanwhile Oliver Turvey can’t afford a seat and has to go race GTs. Arguably the only guy who ran at the front who has no major backing is Filippi. Respect to him for that and to Coloni for putting him in the car based on his abilities, not his wallet.

    I think it’s been said above, but the Renault 3.5 field this year is much deeper. Wickens and Vergne alone equate to more talent, and then you’ve quick rookies like Rossi and Korjus – far more impressive than this year’s GP2 newbies.

    It’ll be interesting to see what happens next year as I don’t think Bianchi’s coming back, nor van der Garde, surely not Filippi (though we’ve said that before), Clos needs to move on and Vietoris will probably go full-time in the DTM. Bottas in an ART could be a good shout. He’s won plenty (two Zandvoorts, GP3) and is a bit older and more mature than Gutierrez was coming in this year. Pic will probably be back too, in that premium price Addax seat.


    I agree. This year’s GP2 has been rather “bland.” Slightly devoid of talent other than a few stars. This year’s WSR has had more talented drivers; interestingly with Vergne (a Red Bull driver) and Wickens (formerly a Red Bull driver)

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