The 2014 GP2 Series officially kicks off tomorrow with the first test session of the year at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi. Teams and drivers have gathered for three days in order to prepare for the tenth season of the category which will open in twenty-five days’ time in Bahrain alongside the Formula One Grand Prix.
Many fresh faces mix with more familiar ones as the field reshuffles. Reigning champions RUSSIAN TIME will fight for another crown with 2012 GP3 Series Champion Mitch Evans and rookie Artem Markelov. Carlin who finished second in the 2013 standings on the same amount of points as their Russian rivals have retained Felipe Nasr who will be partnered with Julian Leal this season. Racing Engineering have bet on Stefano Coletti and rookie Raffaele Marciello to repeat last season’s top form whilst DAMS have chosen to put their faith in the experienced pair of Stephane Richelmi and GP2 race winner Jolyon Palmer.
Two newcomers form ART Grand Prix’s 2014 duo as Stoffel Vandoorne and Takuya Izawa join the GP2 field. Meanwhile, Daniel Abt has moved to Hilmer Motorsport with last year’s GP3 Series runner up Facu Regalia completing the line-up. First driver to be signed for 2014, Simon Trummer has remained at Rapax alongside GP2 race winner Adrian Quaife-Hobbs. Rene Binder moved to Arden International with the British squad also welcoming rookie Andre Negrao. EQ8 Caterham Racing have staked their claim to finish the season at the top of the standings with the duo of Rio Haryanto / Alexander Rossi.
At MP Motorsport, Daniel de Jong has been confirmed for a second season. He will be joined for this three day test session by GP2 race winner Jon Lancaster. Recently confirmed at Trident, Johnny Cecotto will be paired for this test with rookie Axcil Jefferies from Zimbabwe. Venezuela GP Lazarus announced last Friday that Nathanael Berthon was joining them for the season with the clear objective to help the team fight for podiums. Conor Daly will also be testing for the Italian team in Abu Dhabi. The American driver and GP3 graduate already has a GP2 race weekend under his belt at Sepang last year where he scored two points. Last but not least, Campos Racing return to GP2 with a rookie pairing formed by Arthur Pic and Kimiya Sato.
Pirelli have selected two different compounds for these three days: Medium (Prime) and Super Soft (Option). Each driver will be supplied with five sets of Prime and two sets of Option.
The session will start tomorrow at 09:00 local time and will run until 12:00. After a two hour break, the proceedings will resume until 17:00.
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