The devastating impact of GP2 Asia – part II

Though many questioned GP2 Asia for 2008-09 (current series), GP2 boss Bruno Michel and his team pushed on with what in hindsight reflects very little regard for the teams and their  survival.  Some (or maybe many) would venture to say that he wanted to see some teams go into financial difficulties, which they are suffering just as we get ready to start the 2009 GP2 Main season.

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The economic turmoil was already upon us, and cancelling the season would have been a timely decision applauded by most and criticized by the ignorant few.  But…. the season started at the October Shanghai F1 GP with a ragtag lineup of new and old drivers – most of them paying little or no money to the bleeding GP2 teams that were contractually obligated to field 2 cars without exception or mercy.  Rumours had surfaced that Michel would allow teams to show up with 1 car at this exceptional time, but as many had suspected the short-term once again primed over the long-term.

The numbers and facts speak for themselves:

  • Regarding driver rotation
  • After 5 races, a total of 41 drivers have paraded through the GP2 Asia Series – representing a rotation of about 66%… not even club level karting sees these figures on a bad weekend.
  • 11 drivers (27% of those that have paraded through here) have raced only 1 race!
  • Only 15 drivers (37% of the total) have raced in every GP2 Asia race this season; this represents less than 60% of the 26 GP2 seats available… highly irregular for a serious racing category.
  • Trident, a team in serious, serious difficulties has used an incredible 7 drivers and I would venture to say that several of them have raced for free:  Ricci, Rigon, Vallés.
  • Even Arden has suffered the confusion of Dr. Marko at Red Bull’s objectives in GP2 Asia.  He has used 3 drivers in the Red Bull seat at Arden:  Mika Maki, Renger van der Zande and Edoardo Mortara.  Dr. Marko must be seriously wondering what the hell GP2 Asia is good for, a confusion that probably help cement his decision to leave GP2 in 2009 altogether. Read more of this post