Category Archives: GP2

Creating an effective Formula One feeder system

This year GP2 will be rebranded ‘Formula 2’ which is a small but helpful step towards creating a more coherent Formula One feeder system. Here are a few more ideas the FIA and F1’s new owners could look at to make it easier for the world’s best young drivers to reach Grand Prix level.

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Antonio Giovinazzi did something quite special in GP2

The reverse grid rules in GP2 make it incredibly difficult to win two races on the same weekend, but Antonio Giovinazzi became the first driver since 2012 to manage exactly that in Azerbaijan. Not only did the rookie win both races, but he had to fight back from 20th after a chaotic start on the Sunday. Beating his Red Bull sponsored teammate is a good way to get noticed.

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A quirk of timing helped Artem Markelov to victory at Monaco

Artem Markelov took a controversial GP2 victory at Monaco last weekend after gaining significant time on his rivals during two Virtual Safety Car periods. His win became the subject of a stewards inquiry but the investigation revealed that Markelov simply got lucky.

Markelov inherited the lead at Monaco when his rivals pitted, and although he might’ve expected to fall back behind them when he made his own pitstop, Markelov held onto first place because he was able to gain the necessary time during two Virtual Safety Car periods. In theory this shouldn’t be possible but Monaco’s layout created a unique situation.

The Virtual Safety Car mandates that drivers must stay above a minimum sector time. When it was used during the GP2 race at Monaco, Artem Markelov happened to be on the tight twisty part of the circuit heading down towards the harbour. This meant he didn’t need to scrub off too much speed because he was on the slowest part of the track anyway. Meanwhile, his main rivals were on the fastest part of the circuit so had to drop a lot more speed.

Additionally, when the Virtual Safety Car period finished, Markelov was on the fastest part of the track so gained the most potential from the restart. His main competition was back on that tight section so didn’t gain the same advantage.

This could only happen at a circuit like Monaco where the slowest sector is ridiculously slow. Markelov got lucky with the timing, and it shows how a Virtual Safety Car (generally much fairer than a conventional Safety Car) can still advantage or disadvantage some drivers.

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Hamilton and Rosberg make a little bit of F1 history

Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg have become the first teammates in F1 history to wipe each other out on the 1st lap after starting from the front row, but they still can’t beat this spectacular effort from iSport teammates at the start of a GP2 race in 2007. Imagine being the team boss.

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F1: Why not let GP2 cars start a Grand Prix?

GP2

There are a lot of reasons why GP2 cars should never be eligible to start a Formula One Grand Prix. Aside from all the technical and sporting issues, it would significantly reduce the value of the sport and the teams taking part. It could also start a downward spiral into spec-series oblivion.

However, for the sake of playing devil’s advocate, here are six reasons why boosting the F1 grid with the ten fastest GP2 runners could work:

  • It has been done before so isn’t a radical new idea. Formula 2 cars used to run during Grands Prix regularly up until the 1970s.
  • The sport needs backmarkers – but often they’re only featured on TV during the first few corners. GP2 cars would fill that gap.
  • MotoGP does it at the moment. The open class bikes at the back of the grid make the first lap look exciting on TV, which is one of the reasons why they exist.
  • Last year the GP2 cars were about the same speed as the Caterham and Marussia drivers, so they aren’t miles off the pace.
  • GP2 cars would provide more action near the tail end of a Grand Prix.
  • It would make the GP2 feature race on a Saturday an absolute must-watch event. The top ten finishes get to start the Formula One Grand Prix!
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