|GP2 Series season|
|Current season||2008 GP2 Series season|
|Champion driver||Giorgio Pantano|
|Champion team||Campos Grand Prix|
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of motor racing introduced in 2005 following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One 'feeder' sport, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore
Designed to make racing affordable for the teams and to make it the perfect training ground for life in Formula One, GP2 has made it mandatory for all of the teams to use the same chassis, engine and tyre supplier so that true driver ability is reflected. Most races take place as support races at Formula One race weekends to boost the series' profile, to give drivers experience on the Grand Prix environment, and to take advantage of the infrastructure (marshalls, medical facilities etc) in place for a Formula One event.
Although graduation to Formula One is not guaranteed, in the three years the series has been running, the champions have always graduated immediately into Formula One. The 2005 Champion Nico Rosberg was hired by the Williams team for the 2006 F1 campaign, 2006 GP2 winner Lewis Hamilton made the transition to F1 the following year with McLaren and the 2007 Champion Timo Glock to Toyota for the 2008 F1 season, although in Glock's case this marks a return to Formula One. In addition, all runners up - Heikki Kovalainen (2005), Nelson Angelo Piquet (2006) and Lucas Di Grassi (2007) became Renault test drivers the following year. The first two have then graduated to Formula One.
GP2 Series cars
- The 2006 specification GP2 Car has been designed by Dallara Automobili. The 2006 GP2 car features a biplane rear wing, with the triplane rear wing used in 2005 only to be used at the Monaco race. The front upper and lower wishbones have been reinforced, as have the front and rear suspension uprights.
- The 4 litre Renault V8 engine features internal, cartographic and software upgrades designed to improve performance and fuel consumption. The engine produces about 580 horsepower (432.5 kW).
- The 2006 gearbox has been manufactured by GearTek and features an 8-position barrel with ratchet body and software upgrades as well as a new transverse shafts fixing system designed to facilitate improved gear selection.
- Bridgestone is the single tyre supplier for the GP2 Racing Series. Although grooved dry tyres were used when the series started in 2005, regulations changed in 2006 in favour of slick tyres.
Bridgestone is supplying three slick tyre compounds for racing on dry (soft, medium and hard), as well as a wet specification. The choice of tyre being raced is made jointly by the manufacturer and the GP2 Series organizers prior to each event.
- Other parts
- Brembo is supplying a new development of monobloc brake calipers and disc bells, which are exclusive to GP2.
The car also features internal cooling upgrades, a new water radiator, radiator duct, oil/water heat exchanger, modified oil degazer, new oil and water pipes and new heat exchanger fixing brackets.
- According to research and pre-season stability tests, the 2005 model can go 0 to 200 km/h (124 mph) in 6.70 seconds. The car has a top speed of 320 km/h (198 mph) meaning that it is the fastest single seater racing car bar Formula One, and IRL IndyCar Series models. The cars are predicted to be reliable and should run within less than ten seconds per lap of the typical Formula One car.
On Friday they have a 30-minute free practice session and a 30-minute qualifying session. The qualifying session decides the grid order for Saturday's race which has a length of 180 kilometres.
During Saturday's race, each driver has to make a pit stop in which at least two tires have to be changed.
On Sunday there is a sprint race of 120 kilometres. The grid is decided by the Saturday result with top 8 being reversed, so the driver who finished 8th on Saturday will start from pole position and the winner will start from 8th place.
- Pole for Saturday races: 2 points
- Saturday races: 10-8-6-5-4-3-2-1 points for top 8 finishers
- Sunday races: 6-5-4-3-2-1 points for top 6 finishers
- Fastest lap: 1 point in each race. Driver recording fastest lap has to drive 90% of race laps. The driver must now also start the race from his allocated grid position and as of 2008 must finish in the top ten of the race to be eligible for the fastest lap point.
With this points system, the most number of points anyone can score in one round is 20 by claiming pole position, winning both races with the fastest lap in each race. This feat has only been achieved once in GP2 Racing's short history, by Brazilian Nelson Angelo Piquet. He scored the maximum 20 points in the 9th round of the 2006 season in Hungary.
|Year||Driver Champion||Team Champion||Driver Runner-Up|
|2005||Nico Rosberg||ART Grand Prix||Heikki Kovalainen|
|2006||Lewis Hamilton||ART Grand Prix||Nelson Angelo Piquet|
|2007||Timo Glock||iSport International||Lucas Di Grassi|
|2008||Giorgio Pantano||Campos Grand Prix||Bruno Senna|
Main article 2005 GP2 Series season
Main article 2006 GP2 Series season
The 2006 Season was the second of the series. After championship holder Nico Rosberg's move to the WilliamsF1 team, and runner-up Heikki Kovalainen's move to be reserve driver at Renault F1, Nelson Piquet Jr. in the Piquet Sports car was installed as the early title favourite, though the ART Grand Prix cars of Alexandre Prémat and Lewis Hamilton also had fairly short odds, given ART were reigning champions.
For the first time, the season began on a calendar separate to the 2006 Formula One calendar, starting out at the Circuit de Valencia, in Valencia, Spain on April 8 2006, with Piquet Jr. the first victor.
Piquet raced into an early lead, before Lewis Hamilton came back into the foray. A dominant run by the Briton took him into the championship lead, before the balance came back into Piquet Jr.'s favour.
After an exciting championship battle lasting 20 races, Hamilton claimed the title in the penultimate race, at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza, in Monza, Italy, and celebrated with a second place in the 21st and final round.
Main article 2007 GP2 Series season
The 2007 GP2 Series season began on 13 April at the Bahrain International Circuit, and completed on 30 September at the Circuit de Valencia. Eventual champion Timo Glock was a driving force throughout the series, but came under stiff competition from Lucas Di Grassi in the closing stages- however, with a convincing win at the last race in Valencia, Glock sealed the championship.
Main article 2008 GP2 Series season
The 2008 GP2 Series season will feature the same teams as in previous seasons. The 2008 GP2 Series season will be exclusively aired on ITV4 from April 2008. It was won by Giorgio Pantano for Racing Engineering, with Bruno Senna finishing distant runner-up.
The television rights are held by the Formula One Management, which also manages the rights to Formula One. In the UK races are shown live on the ITV4 network channel. The races are also broadcast in Canada and USA on SPEED channel before the Formula One races, while in Brazil it's broadcast by cable TV channel SportTV. In Germany PayTV Channel Premiere broadcast all races Live and in Finland Pay-TV-channel MTV3 MAX broadcasts all races and qualifying live, the same level of coverage is provided in Italy by Sky Italia.
|2005Template:· 2006Template:· 2007Template:· 2008Template:· 2009||List of drivers|