@adrianmorse – Don’t forget that Caterham took Rodolfo Gonzalez last year.
At best, Ma and Canamasas are unproven quantities. Canamasas in particular had some half-decent results in Formula Renault 3.5 (including a pole position, a podium finish and the odd fastest lap), but was let down by uncompetitive machinery last year and got a bit of a bad reputation as someone who simply didn’t think. And Ma has virtually no open-wheel experience, but was setting lap times in Free Practice 1 last year that would have been good enough to qualify for the race if it was a qualifying session. They’re certainly a weaker line-up than Rossi and Varhaug, but they could do a hell of a lot worse (by taking, say, Trummer and Teixeria).
Part of the problem in all of this is the series’ expansion to include flyaway races. It might sound good on paper, but it’s driven costs up exponentially. GP2 really needs an overhaul in its format – get rid of the rules banning drivers from taking part in Grand Prix weekends (or at least relax them), and maybe alter the race structure. Perhaps they could have a Feature Race that everyone takes part in, and then a Sprint Race for everyone who didn’t score points in the Feature, and then a Final Race for everyone who scored points in the Feature and the Sprint, with the grid being decided by fastest lap times from the two races. Or something; that’s just off the top of my head.