Time for musical chairs

With a one-race delay, Romain Grosjean has finally been promoted to F1.   He fully deserves it, as much as Nelsinho does not deserve the arrogant and despicable way in which he has been fired…. I wonder whose style that is?

Back to GP2, with Romain out of the Barwa Addax seat, we can now play musical chairs for a couple of weeks – or until one of the teams talks.  With the information flow in GP2 as of late, I don’t expect many announcements.  First, negotiations must be underway for the re-shuffle.  And second, most are on vacation somewhere along the Mediterranean coast.   So for now, we’ll have to make due with our predictions and the occasional Italiaracing “exclusives”.

It was this Italian online magazine that predicted an RDD move with Romain’s seat.  They placed Davide Valsecchi at Barwa, Luca Filippi at the empty Durango seat, Giedo van der Garde at Super Nova and Bruno Senna in the vacant iSport.   This scenario may have been somewhat credible/logical a month ago, but with the performance at the Hungaroring by both Giedo and Luca, I would be surprised if they decide to move now.

Filippi: Luca’s move to Durango would be purely financial, given his initial season budget was estimated at around €800k.  If David Sears could find another driver to bolster his team’s economy at the end of the season, he would probably do so.  This would mean Luca goes to Durango to race for “free” or filling in with RDD’s compensation for taking Valsecchi away.  Very complex….

Giedo: He had a strong budget, so money is not a problem.  iSport was lacking in results this year, especially worrying after expectations that its 2 drivers would be in the points regularly.  Nunes was progressing well in GP2/GP2 Asia, but he seems to have reached his potential for now.  Giedo, coming off his WSR championship, should have been as (or more) competitive than Hulkenberg – coming in from the “smaller” F3 Euroseries.  Yet Giedo has underperformed, and Paul Jackson must be thinking about his teams image for 2010.   If the rumor makes any sense, he would be sending Giedo to Super Nova with some cash, hoping to get in Bruno Senna and raise his team’s image for what is left of 2009.  Makes sense….

Valsecchi: Yes, he is an RDD driver, but God knows why.  He had a promising end to 2008 and ran a strong GP2 Asia season.  This year has been a disaster and he surely does not merit a “better” seat at Barwa.   His budget was tight and Durango is hurting, so they would love to get a driver with the extra money to prop up their numbers as the season closes.  This move makes little sense for RDD and only makes financial sense for Ivone Pinton’s team….

Senna: Sitting out in 2009 has been terrible for Bruno, especially since he has stayed away from open-wheel racing altogether.  His F1 target is still in sight, but he needs some mileage under his belt to prepare for 2010 pre-season testing.  Going back to a disappointing iSport is a good solution, since he could do no worse.  If he does better, he will shine and raise his level just in time for the end of F1 silly season, if there is any this year.  His name has been linked to Toro Rosso (ridiculous) and to Campos-Meta1, which sounds reasonable – but I seriously doubt this team will be on the F1 grid in 2010.

My conclusions, as said in an earlier post, is that RDD should act according to its interests and promote its promising drivers upwards.  Valsecchi is stuck and is not F1 material.  Charles Pic has been improving in WSR and is not a title contender.  He points towards GP2 in 2010, so why not move him up now?

Another long-shot would be for an ART switch, much like happened last season with Filippi and Sakon Yamamoto.   Maldonado is not going to fight for the title, and they have young guns in Jules Bianchi and Valtteri Bottas that point upwards for next season.   Could Vasseur and Agag cut a deal to sit Maldonado at Barwa and move Bianchi up to GP2?  There is only 1 calendar conflict (F3 Catalunya and GP2 Portimao), but Bianchi could skip the final GP2 race.

Let’s see what happens.  2 fun rumor-filled weeks of GP2 ahead….

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9 Responses to Time for musical chairs

  1. sauber11 says:

    As a Bruno Senna fan i know that he wont return to Gp2. He said that he talked with Paul Jackson about testing after season to help Isport with the settings and preparing himself for f1-tests, and he is going to finish his lemans series season.
    I saw Adam Carroll on Isport pitwall last race, may it be him to replace Nunez, not Garde who finally won a race.
    By the way Parente won his WSR title more convincing than Garde ( i mean no points difference but a stronger opposition). And he finished 8 first year in Gp2 , why to expect more from Giga? Alfonso de Orleans once said that he will prefer f3ES driver to WSR one so calling it smaller series not 100% right.
    Bianchi racing 13 september in british f3 at Algarve so i think he will wait untill 2010.

    I bet we will see not many changes next race , something like:
    1) Pantano to replace Grosjean. or
    2) Valsecchi to replace Grosjean and some rent-driver filling his durango seat.
    But who know for sure , racing became so unpredictable last year. 🙂

  2. AMS says:

    Carroll was at iSport Pitwall because He is Driver Coach for Van der Garde.

    I don´t think Carroll will want to return to GP2 again.

  3. gp2 insider says:

    Sauber11: I doubt Carroll can replace Nunes. He is one of the few drivers with a full budget (Nescafe/Garoto) so I doubt Paul Jackson can afford to sit him, no matter how bad he’s doing in 2009.

    Regarding Parente, he still has a lot to prove, and his credit may be running out. Guys who can fill in at Durango are the Italian F3000 guys: Bonanomi, Crestani, Onidi…. or even the eternal substitute – Ricci!

  4. gp2aswell says:

    Pantano cannot race because is the winner of 2008 championship. See the sporting regulations

  5. gp2aswell says:

    no one considering Jakes? he has budget, he was expected in gp2…

    • gp2 insider says:

      I agree, but Jakes would have been there had he wanted to already. He has the budget and could have been in one of several teams already… Maybe he’s saving up for 2010?

  6. Diogo Oliveira says:

    Why not bet in Filipe Albuquerque? He has demonstrated his quality in A1GP, in his first full season with A1 Team Portugal. I think he would be a driver to think about it…

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