GP2 drivers’ market

Last season, the GP2 drivers’ market was held up until February mainly in expectation of Bruno Senna’s decision to return or not to the Series.  Once he declared his intention to stay out, announcements arrived one after the other:  Nunes, van der Garde, Perez, Di Grassi, Grosjean, Razia….

This year, with no “blockbuster” driver waiting on the sidelines, the speed of the announcements is occurring at a more normal pace.  Top teams ART and Barwa already have their seats full, iSport has a short-list and Super Nova already has Jakes on board.

So what’s the hold up?  At this point, I would venture to say that what’s holding up more announcements is F1 itself.  Drivers such as Roldan Rodriguez, Vitaly Petrov, Lucas Di Grassi, Alvaro Parente and Pastor Maldonado are on the short-lists for Virgin F1, USF1, Campos or Renault/Gravity.  Until these seats are sorted out, I doubt they will commit to a GP2 seat.

Curiously, many of these guys probably have the €6-8 million for an F1 seat but they probably don’t have the €1.2-1.5 million for a GP2 ride.

Apart from budgets, which some of them will find, they will come up against the “GP2 trap”…. meaning:  are any “good” teams left?   Using history as a measuring stick, only Racing Engineering, Super Nova and maybe DAMS and Arden are left out there with this label.  Other only exception is Ocean, should they be able to convince Parente to return (and pay for it).

Interesting chess game ahead for drivers and their managers….

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21 Responses to GP2 drivers’ market

  1. What do you see happening to Grosjean?

  2. haho says:

    A lot of experienced drivers should go. Even without the Red Bull drivers who won’t drive Gp2, there still is a staggering amount of young talent not driving Gp2. VD Zande, Coletti, Vietoris, Maki (no Red Bull any more) Van Dam, vd Drift, Bamber. All of these should have Gp2 drives but do not because the 3rd or 4th years keep hanging around. Pathetic.

  3. gp2 insider says:

    But don’t you think it’s a matter of who finds the budget, rather that who’s still around? I agree with you that it would be great to see van der Zande, Vietoris or vd Drift in GP2, but they’re not there because they have no cash, not because Petrov or Rodriguez have taken there spot.

    By the way, I would expect to see Vietoris in GP2 next year…

    • haho says:

      ofcourse. It’s quite poignant: Van Dam was a more resounding winner in Jap F3 in a more difficult year and was also pole driver at Macau, Ericsson does the same a year later in a lesser field (both Jap and Macau) and he tests Mercedes, has big bucks, and will probably drive iSport. Is he a better driver? Doubtful. Hype and money count for 8/10s. I hate that. But true, ofcourse. Cash is a problem.

  4. sauber11 says:

    VD Zande,Texeira,Summerton targeting F2 in 2010.
    Bortolotti and Red Bull choosing between F2,WSR and GP2. I think he will end up at Carlin\WSR, but Gp2 still a possibility.
    Maldonado once said , that one gp2 team keeping a place for him – my guess its Rapax or Super Nova.
    By the way , there is no confirmation of Jakes at Super Nova for the main series , not at official gp2 site, nor italiaracing or wikipedia…
    Van Dam won his JF3 championship at 22 years, Ericsson won it at 19 – this also must count.

  5. spudy says:

    Haho are you Dutch by any chance? I do believe a lot of people actually in the industry think Ericsson has something special. He needs to be in the right environment for it to blossom. I don’t know if he has his own money or not to be honest and I don’t think anyone really knows for sure, look at Valsecchi, no-one thought he had much budget but it looks more and more likely he will be at iSport for the rest of Asia and for Main Series.

    • haho says:

      haha yeah I am, but it was just an example. There are a few very good Brits being bumped cause of big-money types like Chilton… I hate the influence of money above talent.

      • gp2 insider says:

        Whether we like it or not, that’s the way it’s always been. We could go on for pages discussing underfunded talent that has gone to waste in GP2, F3000, F3 and others. There is so little chance of recovering the brutal investment in climbing the racing ladder that there is little incentive for money to back these drivers. As you well know, advertising payback is tough to justify in these categories, especially when talking about serious cash.

    • Fujer says:

      Ericsson dosent have that much money as you would think. Tough its pretty certain that they have budget for GP2.

  6. sauber11 says:

    http://gp2.gpupdate.net/en/news/2009/12/11/ocean-racing-signs-da-costa-for-2011/
    Ocean Racing signs Da Costa for 2011

    Wow )) Signing like that is something new.

    • gp2 insider says:

      Very curious indeed… Not too sure about signing with Motopark in F3, though.

      • Diogo Oliveira says:

        The same old portuguese problem: budget. That screwed Álvaro Parente from going to Virgin-Manor.

        Oh, and I bet if Álvaro doesn’t go to F1, he’ll go to Racing Engineering.

  7. sauber11 says:

    http://www.autosport.com/news/report.php/id/80558
    Durango to miss 2010 GP2 season,24 cars next season.

  8. Diogo Oliveira says:

    I didn’t know that James Jakes was already in Super Nova. Did they annonced that?

    Racing Engineering has already Dani Clos for 2010, cause last year, he signed a two year deal with D.Afonso de Bourbon, the team boss.

    • gp2 insider says:

      Apparently my mistake on Jakes…. taken him off the 2010 grid list. Sorry!

      • Diogo Oliveira says:

        But Dani Clos is really in one of RE’s spots. Last year, he signed a two year contract.

        • gp2 insider says:

          Well, yes and no. The contract is signed but he has no cash (as of today) to back it up. So Dani could end up paying a penalty, but by no means is he guaranteed to sit in the RE car in 2010 yet.

  9. spudy says:

    scary news I just heard, Luiz Razia has secured himself an F1 test and reserve drive. Amazing what money can buy you. Hasn’t even looked quick in GP2 even in a Barwa.

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