Giorgio Pantano has become the fourth GP2 champion in this afternoon’s feature race.
Pantano beat Bruno Senna to win the title which, so far, has been a passport to F1.
But while Senna has been linked to several teams, there has been so sign Pantano is about to return to F1, where he raced briefly in 2004. Does he deserve an F1 seat?
The past three GP2 champions have all gone straight into F1:
2005: Nico Rosberg (Williams)
2006: Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2007: Timo Glock (Toyota)
And several other GP2 drivers have made it into F1. Scott Speed (2006), Heikki Kovalaien (2007), Kazuki Nakajima (2007) and Nelson Piquet Jnr (2008).
Pantano started most of the 2004 F1 season for Jordan. That came after several years in F3000, the predecessor to GP2. Since then he has started every GP2 championship and has now started well over 100 races at a level where some drivers only spend one year en route to F1.
So does his GP2 title prove Pantano is F1 material? Or have other drivers like Bruno Senna, Romain Grosjean, Sebastien Buemi and Lucas di Grassi impressed in this year’s GP2 field?