GP2 reveals 2008-2010 lineup
The GP2 Series has announced that the second generation of the championship, which will run between 2008 and 2010, will be composed of the same 13 teams which completed the 2007 season.
Despite many strong proposals from teams currently competing in a number of formulae, the level of performance shown by the existing teams, their stability, their loyalty and the sense of community which has been built up over the course of the first three seasons of the GP2 Series, was deemed too strong to be broken.
Bruno Michel, GP2 Series Organizer explains…
Bruno, please explain how you came to the decision to keep the existing teams in place for 2008.
The decision was a very difficult one to make and came after a long selection process. From an initial application of over 30 entries for the 13 team slots in the GP2 Series, we whittled the number down first to 25, and then to 20 serious contenders. These final 20 proposals were subjected to a number of checks regarding the teams’ sporting history, their financial stability, proposed sponsorship foundation and ability to market both themselves and the series. Although making such a decision was incredibly difficult, as a series organizer it was a remarkably fulfilling experience to see so many strong proposals. It shows just how far the GP2 Series has come in three years, and just how much people want to be a part of it.
With so many strong proposals, why did you decide to stick with the existing teams?
First of all, I believe that the 13 teams of the GP2 Series have done a very good job over the last three years. This season, for example, we saw ten different teams winning races. Those who did not manage to make the top step of the podium however have shown through their proposals that they are seriously committed to making that step forward and are putting all the necessary changes in place to consistently challenge at the front in the second generation. Second, from a financial point of view, every one of the existing teams has finished the first generation of the GP2 Series in a stronger financial position from when they started. It is a testament to the work of the existing teams that all those who started this adventure with us in 2005 were still racing in 2007 and wanted to remain with us until 2010. Third, loyalty. The GP2 Series has become something of a community and at this moment I feel I should be loyal towards the teams who have believed in this series from the beginning.
Are you worried that by not instigating an element of promotion and relegation in the GP2 Series, you risk complacency from the active teams, whilst also putting off other teams from entering proposals in the future?
Not at all, because this element of promotion and relegation will be raised again at the end of the 2010 season. Just because we have decided to keep the current teams on board for the second generation does not mean the same thing will happen for the third generation. As I outlined earlier, our reasons for keeping the existing teams on board were three-fold. Those teams who may in the public domain be deemed to have underperformed have committed themselves to improve their weaknesses and I am quite confident that this will happen and make the GP2 Series even stronger than before. To those we have selected, I wish every success, but I want to take this moment to thank all the teams who entered proposals and who were not selected. It was a tough task, made all the more difficult by the strength of their proposals and their very real desire to be a part of the series. To them I say, ‘Your time will come.’
2008-2010 GP2 Series Teams (in alphabetical order)
ART Grand Prix
Campos Grand Prix
Fisichella Motorsport International
Minardi Piquet Sports
Super Nova Racing