GP2 drivers’ market
December 11, 2009 21 Comments
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….