New teams set to be annouced today
September 13, 2010 5 Comments
As reported by 4:2:2 Race, the GP2 organization should be announcing the team lineup for the 2011-2013 period.
As widely expected, DPR is expected to join Durango in the ex-teams list, leaving 2 slots open for new teams to join the GP2 and GP2 Asia Series grid.
Though GP2 Asia outfit Meritus is thought to be in the lead for one of the slots, doubts have emerged as the announcement date got closer. One of the key questions that backs up this possibility is why didn’t Meritus enter the series at the beginning of 2010? Even if it was the final season of this agreement, had Meritus committed to GP2 filling in for Durango, I am quite sure all other 12 teams and Bruno Michel would have guaranteed the Malaysian team’s position for 2011-2013.
Now, the strongest rumor regards another Malaysian, as Lotus is heavily thought to be in line for one of the spots, as the team has announced it will be extending its global branding/junior team concept from its World Series presence to its own IndyCar team, and now GP2. Should this happen, it will most likely be through an extension of its current Mofaz (ex-Fortec) structure.
That said, which GP2 team will be axed? I agree with article author Fabrizio Corgnati in that Andre Herck’s DPR team will be the one to go. Herck has been somewhat of a renegade (not a criticism at all) since his arrival in GP2 in partnership with David Price. This own style, and his own vision of the team and his place in the series may ultimately be what could cost Herck the GP2 spot for the next 3 years. The team has significantly stepped up its operations since last season, pulling off an extraordinary Asia campaign and a solid European season. This improvement is due mainly to the decision of moving the team from England to its current Padova base in Italy. Also relevant, the inclusion of Giacomo Ricci, a strong driver and race winner that has no doubt been a positive influence to an improving, yet still errant, Michael Herck.
As for who could take DPR’s spot, I really have no inputs on what could happen. My comments on this:
- Manor: Should you side with the F1 junior team concept (I’m not 100% aligned with this theory), a Manor license would make sense, complementing both the F1 and GP3 presence. Yet I have serious doubts whether the F1 side of the Virgin-Manor linkup is healthy and could survive for 2011.
- Carlin: Also a GP3 team, Carlin would make sense as well. Yet I am not convinced that the very smart Trevor Carlin sees the benefit of GP2 just yet. He has had chances to join the series in previous seasons yet has not taken the steps to do so.
- Mucke: Again, a GP3 team that has a strong track record and a potential F1 linkupsvia its F3 Mercedes engine supply. Not sure if they are ready just yet for GP2 though.
So apart from Lotus, the final spot is wide open in my opinion. We could endlessly add to the list, teams like Signature, Igor Salaquarda (ISR), Tech 1 or Jenzer, though this would just be adding more wood to the fire.
Let’s see if our curiosity is satisfied today and the GP2 organization makes its decision public.