Update: GP2 Asia grid

Current working grid…send me confirmations when you have them so we can build up the list together.  @gp2asia lineup

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Updated: GP2 Jerez Test- Driver lineup

Keeping this post open for the comments…. See full confirmed Jerez list in post above.  Thanks to all for your inputs!  We’ll do it all over again in a month for the Paul Ricard GP2 Main test.  At the end, apparently no Durango.

GP2 Asia has its Asian champ… perfect excuse to call it quits

kobachampWell, Bruno Michel must be happy with himself this week.  He has reached the target of having an Asian driver win the GP2 Asia Series, as Kamui Kobayashi took the title this weekend in Bahrain.   Just as a note, the next Asian driver was Sakon Yamamoto in 9th, and then Hamad Al Fardan in 20th.  Not much of a talent pool, especially when considering Kobayashi is the Toyota test driver and Yamamoto is an F1-refugee driving for ART.

More than happy, though, Bruno Michel should actually be relieved and it should make for the perfect excuse to end this ill-fated invention on a “high note” (I’m being generous, of course, but any reason isgood to kill GP2 Asia).

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GP2 Asia … a lesson on how to destroy your clients

no-gp2asia1

So we have reviewed the 2 wonderful GP2 Asia seasons, both for their irrelevance in the motor racing world in generating new talent or serious competition and for their destructive impact on team finances – for almost every team on the grid.

Some questions for the GP2 management (or GP2 Gods if you prefer):

  • What is the objective of GP2 Asia?  The real one I mean, not the blah, blah, development, blah, blah, emerging markets, blah blah, off-season….. crap.  Are you trying to compete with anyone?  Does anyone ever, ever watch top-level racing during the F1 off-season?
  • Does this GP2 “winter series” need to be in Asia?  If it’s of no interest for drivers in that region, doesn’t it make sense to race in Europe…  Even a Sudam GP2 would make more sense!
  • Have you analyzed the impact of this category?  Impact in terms of media exposure (does anybody care, even the die-hard GP2 fans?), driver development and most importantly – team economics.
  • Do you think GP2 Asia has enhanced or destroyed value for GP2 as a whole?   Trick question, but by any measurement, GP2 Asia has contributed to make a difficult 2009 season in Europe even more unstable and devastating for many teams.
  • Do you listen to your “clients” (the GP2 teams)?  They are shouting for help and attention, but they are constantly ignored – powered by the arrogance of not admitting GP2 Asia should be terminated.
  • The ultimate question…. Will GP2 Asia have a 2009-10 season?  Please say no…..

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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

The devastating impact of GP2 Asia – part I (the 2008 season)

GP2 Asia is probably one of the worst inventions in modern motorsport… well, maybe a distant second to Superleague.

milosdubai1Created in 2008 to reutilize the original GP2 cars and at the same time broaden the scope of the series, GP2 Asia was conceptually targeted at bringing out emerging talent from the “other side of the world”.   If you recall, originally all teams had to have at least 1 Asian driver.  This requirement was only met by 7 of the 13 teams, a generous statistic since Adam Khan lasted only 1 race with Arden and Chandhok (iSport), Kobayashi (DAMS) and Tung (Trident) were merely extensions of their GP2 Main Series relationships.   Also, Fauzy (Super Nova) and Yoshimoto (Meritus) were GP2 “veterans” brought in for a decent showing by these teams.

So basically, only DPR with Armaan Ebrahim of India followed through in the true spirit of GP2 Asia.

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