Yes, I know @jholland posted this in the “Abu Dhabi 2011″ thread, but I figured a dedicated discussion would be a better choice for discussing the 2012 GP2 Silly Season.
So far, only two drivers have been confirmed: Lotus ART will run Esteban Gutierrez and, interestingly enough, GP3 runner-up James Calado. There’s no word on the future of GP3 winner Valterri Bottas (though he is WilliamsF1’s test and reserve driver), or that of ART regular Jule Bianchi.
Bottas is a favourite for an iSport seat.
Bianchi has all but ruled out another year of GP2. After coming third twice he’s on a hiding to nothing unless he walks it next season. Imagine he’s looking at third driver F1 seats.
Expect Pic back unless he lands the Virgin seat. He’d be a real title threat if he’s at Addax again. I reckon Ericsson will be up for another crack too.
I expect Nigel Melker to step up. He’s got the money (he did GP3 and F3 Euro Series this season) and has tested for a few teams. I’d say we’ll see Tom Dillmann too.
Antonio Felix da Costa looks a done deal with Ocean.
All guess work though – any one else got anything a bit more concrete?
Roberto Merhi is definitely one to watch.
With DAMS opening up a WSR operation, it’d be interesting to see if they stick Haryanto in GP2.
Julian Leal is also set for another year.
Generally Williams proteges are planted for a year in GP2 first no? Such as the two Nicos. I wonder if Bottas will get the same treatment. I bet Finland would love a Raikkonen-Bottas relationship in 2013
Wahey, another year of Julian Leal – what joy!
Mehri should be interesting if he switches to GP2. He’s been making more noises about FR 3.5 but I guess he’ll go where he’s told in the end. A season at Arden could seriously hurt his F1 ambitions though (see Edoardo Mortara).
@Portugoose Is Haryanto already a DAMS driver? I know he’s tested for them, but is it definite he’ll drive for one of their teams next year?
Marcus Ericsson will stay with iSport in 2012. He drove for them this year and Super Nova the year before.
iSport are very happy to announce that they have renewed their agreement with Marcus Ericsson who will continue to drive for the team in the 2012 GP2 series and also at the forthcoming GP2 Series Finale in Abu Dhabi in November.
Paul Jackson, Team Principal
“Having seen Marcus develop into a real front runner in 2011, everyone at iSport are delighted to have Marcus on board for yet another season in which we are hoping to challenge for the title”, says team principal Paul Jackson.
Marcus will continue to benefit from the support of “Olsbergs”, his long time backers and they have been instrumental in enabling the relationship to continue. “
“I couldn’t be happier, says Marcus. iSport is a great team and with the support from my sponsors and the continuity from last year, I feel confident we will be competitive to challenge for the championship”.
Title or bust for Ericsson really. He’s never looked that special in GP2 but he seemed to get the upper-hand on Bird last season (for what that’s worth). Really needs to be winning races from the off.
Daniel Juncadella wants to step up to GP2 after winning in Macau.
Juncadella has a VERY wealthy sponsor behind him and his uncle happens to be ex-F1 driver Luis Perez-Sala. Perez-Sala is now sporting advisor (or something of the like) at HRT. Fancy we’ll see Juncadella in GP2 next year in at least running FP1 for HRT in the next few years? Not that he’s all that good – I’d put Mehri in a car over him any day, but money/family connections talk.
Hey, he managed a couple of passes around Macau’s Guia Circuit – which isn’t exactly easy.
No, not to knock Juncadella. No one who isn’t talented wins Macau, especially in a field as strong as this year’s.
Perhaps Juncadella will race for Addax?
They’ll be looking for two new drivers and it’s by far the best seat available with both ART berths gone. It’ll also be the most expensive, but Juncadella seems well backed. Presumably Palmer fancies it too having done Abu Dhabi for them.
Kevin Ceccon has joined Coloni for 2012.
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