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 tyres supplier so that true driver ability is reflected.
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 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-positon barrel with ratchet body and software upgrades as well as a new transverse shafts fixing system designed to facilitate improved gear selection.
The tyres supplied by Bridgestone for the 2006 season are slick, not featuring the grooves seen in the 2005 season. Bridgestone will supply a soft, medium, and hard compound tire, with the tyre choice being made by Bridgestone and the GP2 Series prior to each event. The wet specification tyre remains the same as 2005.
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 in 6.70 seconds. The car has a top speed of 320 km/h meaning that it is the fastest single seater racing car, bar Formula One, Champ Car, and Indy Car models. The cars are predicted to be reliable and are within less than five 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 tyres have to be changed.
On Sunday (except Monaco) 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 to be eligible to claim the fastest lap.
The 2005 season began on April 23, 2005 on the weekend of the San Marino Grand Prix at the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari in Imola, Italy. In the pre-season test to decide the inaugural season's car numbers, the iSport International and HiTech Racing teams showed a competitive edge. The latter team is largely funded by the former Formula One world champion Nelson Piquet in order to aid his son's route to the premier Formula sport.
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 iSport International car was installed as the early title favourite, though the ART Grand Prix cars of Alexandre Prémat and Lewis Hamilton were the quickest, and were given car numbers 1 and 2.
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 di Monza, in Monza, Italy, and celebrated with a second place in the 21st and final round.
The Television rights are held by the FOM, also rights holder of the Formula One.