Pastor Maldonado wins GP2 championship

Pastor Maldonado has been confirmed as GP2 champion following this morning’s sprint race at Monza.

The Venezuelan driver ended the race in the barriers at the Parabolica on lap one. But with title rival Sergio Perez only able to finish 13th, Maldonado now has an unbeatable lead in the championship.

Despite his less than impressive performance in the championship clincher, Maldonado has won six times this year en route to becoming the sixth GP2 champion.

Rumours have linked him and sponsor PDVSA to various F1 teams in 2011 including Sauber.

There are two race left in the GP2 season, but as they are both supporting the F1 season finale in Abu Dhabi, the drivers have a two month break between now and the next round.

Read more: Who will be the new F1 drivers in 2011?

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25 comments on Pastor Maldonado wins GP2 championship

  1. Lucas.M said on 12th September 2010, 10:24

    Well done, Pastor. To be honest, I thought Bianchi would win it this year but still, I am glad that Pastor won it, he deserved it.

  2. Is that the worst way to win the title ever? Oh here’s your champion crashing into the barriers on lap 1?

    Congratulations to him. I expect him and Perez to be the ones to have a go at clinching an F1 seat for next season although with no new team then it may be tougher for them.

    Congrats to Bird yesterday too for his win.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 12th September 2010, 10:54

      I don’t know, it worked for Senna! At least Pastor didn’t feel the need to take his rival with him ;)

      • And it worked for Schumi as well! It might have even worked 2 times if the FIA had not felt the need to react as his move on Villeneuve was too blatant to ignore.

        Not sure about Maldonado’s chances in F1 though. As you say, there are only a few seats (Sauber, theoretically Renault, possibly HRT or whatever they will be called next year) and we have him, Perez and a couple of others looking for a way in.

    • bosyber said on 12th September 2010, 11:00

      I wouldn’t mind seeing him in a Sauber next year – I suppose Venezuela has a national oil company etc. so sponsorship should be doable.

    • Well, I think the way Senna won in 1992 and Scumacher in 1994 takes the prize for worst way to win the championship. Whatever you did that year everybody will just remember you crashed into your championship contender to secure it.

      Hulkenberg was a bit cheeky last year in Monza too when he secured the championship – he finished third but parked his car at no.1 spot much to the surprise of Luiz Razia who won the race.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 12th September 2010, 11:22

        I saw a video from yesterday showing one of his rivals crashing and then someone on the pit wall cheering! I was very confused because I thought it was the team of the crashed driver… Does anyone know what that was all about?

  3. Igorilla said on 12th September 2010, 10:46

    Hmm, Sauber… Interesting… If you have to choose between PDVSA and Gazprom, what would you pick?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2010, 10:49

      There’s no choice. Vitaly Petrov was said to have Gazprom endorsement, but he’s already in Formula 1 and Renault doesn’t run Gazprom’s name.

      • Igorilla said on 12th September 2010, 10:51

        I didn’t say anything about Petrov. And no, Petrov is not Gazprom-supported.

        • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2010, 11:00

          Well then why are you asking about a choice between PDVSA and Gazprom? Nobody currently has Gazprom sponsorship, either in Formula 1 or the feeder series (if there are people in the feeder series, then certainly no-one who would be a viable prospect for Formula 1). So how is that even a question?

          • Igorilla said on 12th September 2010, 11:19

            “Nobody currently has Gazprom sponsorship, either in Formula 1 or the feeder series”
            ORLY?
            http://img375.imageshack.us/img375/7351/a156888.jpg

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2010, 11:25

            Formula Renault isn’t a feeder series. No driver has been promoted to Formula 1 without having goine through something like GP2 first. A couple of Formula Renault drivers – Mikhail Aleshin included – did guest appearances in GP3 this year. He’s not going to step up to Formula 1 for 2011.

          • Igorilla said on 12th September 2010, 11:31

            “No driver has been promoted to Formula 1 without having goine through something like GP2 first.”
            Vettel-Alguersuari-Kubica? Aleshin was in GP2 and F2.
            “He’s not going to step up to Formula 1 for 2011.”
            Let see.

          • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2010, 11:45

            Whatever. I’ve heard that Mikhail Aleshin will not be moving up to Formula 1 any time soon for some reason. I don’t have the exact reason as to why not, but I have it on good authority that no-one is interested in him. He or his sponsor may have done something to drive them away (but then, I thought Andy Soucek had self-destructed his his stunt at Spa).

            Besides, of all the names that have come up in conjunction with various drives – Maldonado, Perez, van der Garde, d’Ambrosio, Grosjean, Bianchi, Guiterrez – Mikhail Aleshin is not one of them.

  4. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 12th September 2010, 10:55

    If he gets an F1 seat I’ll be surprised, sorry.

  5. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 12th September 2010, 10:59

    Full credit to Maldonado to winning the title … but I have to wonder about his Formula 1 chances for next season. At the beginning of 2010, four drivers were promoted to Formula 1 from GP2, and three of them – Nico Hulkenberg, Vitaly Petrov and Lucas di Grassi – were the three highest-ranked at the end of the 2009 GP2 season. That effectively created a power vacuum and made it open season for any GP2 driver to take the title. Does winning the 2010 crown make Pastor Maldonado a genuine prospect for Formula 1 in 2011?

    And if so, how genuine a prospect? He’s an obvious contender, but Mexican mogul Carlos Slim has said there will be a Mexican driver in the sport next year, which a lot of people are taking to mean Sergio Perez. And based on one of the links in the GP Update adverbox on the side of this page, Giedo van der Garde is talking with Formula 1 teams. I’ve also heard that Virgin have offered Lucas di Grassi’s seat to Jerome d’Ambrosio if he can round up five million Euro. The 2010 silly season was good because there were six obvious openings. But 2011 is hard because there aren’t any apparent gaps. Certainly not four of them; the only possible viable openings I can see would be:

    1) A Sauber drive alongside Kobayashi
    2) The second Virgin seat with di Grassi leaving the team
    3) Hispania’s second seat, since I can’t see Sakon Yamamoto being a viable long-term investment
    4) A Force India if Renault drop Petrov and pick up Sutil
    5) Michael Schumacher’s Mercedes drive if he leaves at the end of 2010

    I can’t see all five of those opening up, since I’ve heard it’s likely Renault will keep Petrov and Sutil has repeatedly said that Force India is his priority, and Hispaia’s performance has been so poor that drivers will eye them very carefully before signing anything.

    • That makes it a fight te the teams “test and reserve driver” for whatever it is worth. Soucek and Heidfeld clearly showed how much good such a role does with the teams.

      The only ones getting some mention (except for those 2) were Di Resta for his friday outings, Hartley for being dropped by RBR and Paffet for doing a good job to find a setup in the simulator for McLaren in Silverstone.
      Oh and Fisi for helping Ferrari put up this simulator game of them.

    • I am not sure about that Virgin seat. From what is said here http://www.gpupdate.net/en/f1-news/242417/haryanto-awarded-virgin-racing-f1-test/ Virgin seems to be building up their own route into F1.

      This combined with Virgin/Manor wanting to get into GP2 for next year, I expect them to keep Di Grassi and maybe promote a guy they get in their GP2 outfit, maybe this Haryanto, after that.

    • jose arellano said on 12th September 2010, 14:42

      i heard an interview with maldonado manager after the race and the guy said it was almost certain pastor was going to f1..

  6. my random ramblings:

    I think Virgin would be making a mistake (racing, not financial) to drop di Grassi. He and Petrov seem to be the most likely to be dropped, but in my mind they both deserve to stay. Petrov especially, it’d be silly for him to be discarded unless Renault were getting a second top-tier driver. Then I’d desperately hope Petrov lands in another team.

    HRT could do a lot worse than keep Karun and Senna (again, racing not financial). Its definitely their strongest pairing and they’ll have benefitted greatly from having driven this year. Get another batch of rookies in and they’ll just have to go through the settling in phase again, and a team in HRT’s position can’t afford to do that.

    None of the 23 drivers deserve to be dropped if that clown Liuzzi keeps a seat.

    For me there’s 2 seats likely to be available, 1 Sauber and 1 Mercedes. I don’t see Mercedes bringing up a rookie, definitely think they’d get an established driver. Klien maybe, I think he’d complement Nico well.

    Would Trulli be looking at retirement? I wouldn’t imagine he has too long left, but I’m pretty sure he is signed on for next year.

    I do hope Pastor gets a gig though. Peter Sauber seems to have a keen eye for rookie talent, so we’ll see what happens there.

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