GP2 ready for series kick off
This weekend in Barcelona marks the start of the fifth season of the GP2 Series, now generally seen as the strongest feeder category for Formula 1.
On April 23rd 2004 the first season of the GP2 Series kicked off in Imola, starting one of motorsport’s most exciting ventures. As the series celebrates its fifth anniversary we look forward to providing ever more excitement for our fans, as the best young drivers in the world fight for their place alongside the cream of racing talent in Formula 1.
Following on from last year’s successful launch of the second generation car, 2009 sees the GP2 Series pick up where it left off. The GP2 Series organizers had just two considerations in mind when they were working on the 2009 update kit: will any changes improve the package, and will they be economical to run. Given the current economic climate the second issue is an obvious consideration, while the first issue leads to the second as well: the update had to avoid change just for the sake of change.
The GP2 Series technical team considered a number of tweaks, but soon made their first major decision: no modifications will be made to the aerodynamic configuration or suspension, which left the team free to work on a new engine specification. This evolution has been studied since 2007, and takes advantage of the information gained from the last four years of racing.
Winter testing proved the enhancements were correct, with the teams enjoying an increase in the power, usability and reliability of their cars. Once again the championship opens in Barcelona, Spain when the Formula One circus opens their European season: this event will be the first of nine weekends as the official Formula One support series in 2009.
For the first time since the start of the GP2 Series there will not be a mid-season test: this decision was made in conjunction with the teams on the basis of controlling costs. The season will close at our one stand-alone event of the season, mid-September in Portimao, Portugal, which will mark the first time that the GP2 Series has raced in Portugal. And so, this weekend, a new season begins in Barcelona where twenty-six drivers, including eleven GP2 race winners and nine rookies, will compete for the first win of the season.