- GP2 Series
Infobox motorsport championship
pixels = 88
current_season = 2008 GP2 Series season
category = Single seaters
inaugural = 2005
drivers = 34 (2008)
teams = 13 (2008)
constructors = flagicon|ITA
engines = flagicon|FRA
tyres = flagicon|Japan
champion driver = flagicon|ITA
champion team = flagicon|ESP
Campos Grand Prix
website = [http://www.gp2series.com gp2series.com] :"For the article about the Asian version of the GP2 series, see
GP2 Asia Series."
The GP2 Series, GP2 for short, is a form of motor racing introduced in
2005following the discontinuation of the long-term Formula One'feeder' sport, Formula 3000. The format was conceived by Bernie Ecclestoneand Flavio Briatore[cite news|first = Brad|last = Spurgeon|title = Formula One experiments with its minor league|work = The International Herald Tribune|page = 22|date = 2005-06-01|accessdate = 2007-01-31] .
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 Onerace 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 Oneis not guaranteed, in the three years the series has been running, the champions have always graduated immediately into Formula One. The 2005 Champion Nico Rosbergwas hired by the Williams team for the 2006 F1 campaign, 2006 GP2 winner Lewis Hamiltonmade the transition to F1 the following year with McLaren and the 2007 Champion Timo Glockto 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 GP2 Series car is used by all of the teams, and features a
Dallarachassis powered by a V8 Renaultengine and Bridgestonetyres.
;Chassis: 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.
;Engine: The 4 litre
Renault V8 enginefeatures internal, cartographic and software upgrades designed to improve performance and fuel consumption. The engine produces about 580 horsepower (432.5 kW).
;Gearbox: The 2006
gearboxhas 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.
Bridgestoneis the single tyre supplier for the GP2 Racing Series. Although grooved dry tyres were used when the series started in 2005, regulations changed in 2006in favour of slick tyres.
Bridgestone is supplying three
slick tyrecompounds 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
brakecalipers 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.
;Performance: 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 Seriesmodels. 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
Nelson Angelo Piquet. He scored the maximum 20 points in the 9th round of the 2006 season in Hungary.
The 2005 Season was the first of the series, it succeeding the now defunct Formula 3000 championship.
Arden Internationalwon the last F3000titles, thus starting as one of the favourites.
The 2005 season began on
April 23, 2005 on the weekend of the San Marino Grand Prixat the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrariin Imola, Italy. In the pre-season test to decide the inaugural season's car numbers, the iSport Internationaland HiTech/Piquet Racingteams showed a competitive edge. The latter team is largely funded by the former Formula One world champion Nelson Piquetin order to aid his son's route to the premier Formula sport.
The championship lasted 23 rounds, two races occurring a weekend with the exception of a single race in
Monaco. It was won by German Nico Rosberg, who was subsequently hired by the WilliamsF1Team.
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 Prixcars of Alexandre Prématand Lewis Hamiltonalso 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, Spainon April 82006, 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.
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 Glockwas a driving force throughout the series, but came under stiff competition from Lucas Di Grassiin the closing stages- however, with a convincing win at the last race in Valencia, Glock sealed the championship.
The 2008 GP2 Series season will feature the same teams as in previous seasons. [cite web|url=http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/63419 | title=Current teams confirmed for 2008 | publisher=Autosport.com | date=2007-10-19] It shall be the first season to feature a new car design from Dallara, the GP2/08, the only non-F1 car to pass the 2007 FIA crash test in full. [cite web|url=http://www.itv.com/Sport/GP2/default.html| title=New car passes F1 crash tests | publisher=Autosport.com | date=2007-10-05] The 2008 GP2 Series season will be exclusively aired on
ITV4[cite web|url=http://www.itv.com/Sport/GP2/Teamsanddrivers/default.html| title=Teams and Drivers | publisher=itv.com | date=2008-03-26 ] from April 2008. It was won by Giorgio Pantanofor Racing Engineering, with Bruno Sennafinishing 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 FinlandPay-TV-channel MTV3 MAXbroadcasts all races and qualifying live, the same level of coverage is provided in Italy by Sky Italia.
GP2 Asia Series
* GP3 Series
List of GP2 drivers
* [http://www.gp2series.com GP2 Series site]
* [http://blog.gp2series.caradisiac.com/index.php/ GP2 Series official blog]
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