GP2 Series: Battle of the future stars begins in Barcelona
The GP2 Series is probably most productive racing competition in the terms of promoting future Formula 1 drivers. Many of them became champions so it will be interesting to see who will be considered as the one for the future after 2016 season.
Searching new champion and the new stars
Reigning champion Stoffel Vandoorne left the series to join the McLaren F1 team as a test driver, but he already debuted in Formula 1 and scored a point on his debut. But, there was a lot of changes in the driver line-ups between the two seasons. Rio Haryanto is another driver who left GP2 to join Formula 1 team, Manor, becoming the first Indonesian in the ’fastest circus in the world’.
We will see many new faces searching for the way to glory in 2016. Formula Renault 3.5 Series reigning champion Philo Paz Armand is one of them, just as GP3 Series vice-champion Luca Ghiotto. Antonio Giovinazzi, European Formula 3 runner-up, is also one of the potential future stars.
Two teams out, one in
The grid for the 2016 season is shortened to 24 cars after Hilmer Motorsport left the competition. Lazarus team also left the competition and is replaced with ambitious Prema Racing.
Race calendar consists of 11 rounds, with two races per weekend.
14/15 May: Circuit de Barcelona- Catalunya
27/28 May: Circuit de Monte Carlo
18/19 June: Baku City Circuit
2/3 July: Red Bull Ring
9/10 July: Silverstone Circuit
23/24 July: Hungaroring
30/31 July: Hockenheimring
27/28 August: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
3 / 4 September: Autodromo Nazionale Monza
1 /2 October: Sepang International Circuit
26/27 November: Yas Marina Circuit
Who are the favorites?
Twelve team enters the 2016 campaign. French outfits ART Grand Prix and DAMS are considered as the early favorites for the Teams’ championship title while the new Renault’s F1 team test driver Sergey Sirotkin heads the list of the Drivers’ championship title contenders.
List of teams and drivers for the 2016 GP2 Series
ART Grand Prix: #1 Nobuharu Matsushita #2 Sergey Sirotkin
Racing Engineering: #3 Norman Nato #4 Jordan King
DAMS: #5 Alex Lynn #6 Nicholas Latifi
Pertamina Campos Racing: #7 Mitch Evans #8 Sean Gelael
Russian Time: #9 Raffaele Marciello #10 Artem Markelov
Rapax: #11 Gustav Malja #12 Arthur Pic
Trident: #14 Philo Paz Armand #15 Luca Ghiotto
Status Grand Prix: #16 TBA #17 TBA
Carlin: #18 Sergio Canamasas #19 Marvin Kirchhofer
Prema Racing: #20 Antonio Giovinazzi #21 Pierre Gasly
MP Motorsport: #22 Oliver Rowland #23 Daniel de Jong
Arden International: #24 Nabil Jeffri #25 Jimmy Eriksson