The 2010 GP2 seasons kicks off next month at the Circuit de Catalunya and this season sees three British drivers and three British teams participating. Drivers Oliver Turvey, Sam Bird and Max Chilton will be looking to catch the eye in Formula One’s ‘feeder series’. The British teams involved this season are iSport International, Super Nova Racing and David Price Racing (DPR). This season will be the last for the second generation GP2 car.
The calendar (each round has 2 races)
May 8/9 – Round 1 @ Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona
May 15/16 – Round 2 @ Monaco
May 29/30 – Round 3 @ Istanbul Park, Turkey
June 19/20 – Round 4 @ Autodromo Internacional do Algarve, Portimao, Portugal
June 26/27 – Round 5 @ Valencia Street circuit, Spain
July 10/11 – Round 6 @ Silverstone, England
July 24/25 – Round 7 @ Hockenheimring, Germany
July 31/1 Aug – Round 8 @ Hungaroring, Hungary
Aug 28/29 – Round 9 @ Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
September 11/12 – Round 10 @ Monza, Italy
November 13/14 – Round 11 @ Yas Marina circuit, Abu Dhabi
Three Brits are driving in GP2 this year. Sam Bird will be racing for 2009 team champions ART Grand Prix and Oliver Turvey is at Norfolk based team, iSport International. Youngest of the three is Max Chilton who will be driving for Ocean Racing Technology.
Sam Bird joins the GP2 grid after two years in Euro F3. Sam, like Oliver Turvey, joins a top team in the GP2 series and the expectations will be high. His team mate at ART is Frenchman Jules Bianchi. Bianchi won the Euro F3 championship last year and in December penned a long-term deal with Ferrari. Sam Bird has the pressure of delivering not only against a tough team mate but also for a team that lists Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg as previous drivers. Sam competed in the GP2 Asia series (this series uses an older car than the main GP2 series) and his best result was a 2nd place finish at Bahrain.
2009 – Euro F3, 8th overall
2008 – Euro F3, 11th overall
2007 – British F3, 4th overall
2006 – Formula Renault UK, 4th overall
Oliver Turvey has moved from the Renault World Series into GP2 for 2010. Like Sam Bird, Oliver took part in the GP2 Asia series where he won the feature race at the second round at Abu Dhabi. For the 2010 GP2 series championship, he will have Davide Valsecchi as his team-mate. Valsecchi, enters his third year of GP2 action and is the GP2 Asia 2009/10 champion. Turvey is part of the Racing Steps Foundation project, which aims to provide sponsorship to talented drivers who lack funds.
19yr old Max Chilton has the opportunity to shine for Portuguese outfit, Ocean Racing Technology. The Brit moves to GP2 after 3 consecutive years in British F3 where last year he finished 4th in the championship. Max took part in GP2 Asia and raced for both Ocean Racing Technology and Barwa Addax. His best result was a credible 6th place at Abu Dhabi. Chilton’s team mate at Ocean will be Fabio Leimer.
2009 – British F3, 4th overall
2008 – British F3, 10th overall
2007 – British F3, 18th overall
2006 – T-Cars, 2nd overall
iSport International – Britain’s most successful GP2 team will be looking to continue their good form, following the capture of the GP2 Asia 2009/2010 constructors championship. The Norfolk based team will want to improve on their 5th place in last years championship.
Drivers: Oliver Turvey and Davide Valsecchi
Team History: 2009 – 5th, 2008 – 2nd, 2007 – champions, 2006 – 3rd, 2005 – 4th.
Super Nova Racing – With experience from the days of F3000, Super Nova finished third last year with some impressive drives by Luca Filippi. The team have been competing in GP2 since the series’ inception in 2005.
Drivers: Marcus Ericsson and Josef Kral
Team History: 2009 – 3rd, 2008 – 7th, 2007 – 4th, 2006 – 9th, 2005 – 3rd.
David Price Racing (DPR) – Since 1976, David Price Racing has been involved in various forms of motorsports and in 2005 entered GP2. The team has won 2 races in GP2, both in 2005. 2010 may be a tough year for David Price Racing but they certainly have the experience.
Drivers: Michael Herck and Giacomo Ricci.
Team History: 2009 – 13th, 2008 – 13th, 2007 – 12th, 2005 – 10th
[Photos courtesy of the GP2 Media service, graphics by ACalder.co.uk]