Koiranen replace Ocean in 2013
1st October 2012, 10:11 at 10:11 am #132170
GP3 have announced their teams line-up for 2013.
The major change is that Ocean Racing will leave the series, to be replaced by Koiranen Motorsport.
Koiranen won the teams’ championship in Formula Renault 2.0 Europe last year, are second behind Josef Kaufmann Racing in the series at the moment and driver Daniil Kvyat is second behind Stoffel Vandoorne in the drivers’ championship.
Ocean were seventh of the nine teams in GP3 last year, only making it onto the podium once with Kevin Ceccon at Monaco. Their other drivers were Robert Cregan and Carmen Jorda.
The 2013 GP3 teams line-up is: Atech, Carlin, Jenzer, Koiranen, Lotus, Marussia Manor, Arden, Status and Trident.1st October 2012, 10:52 at 10:52 am #211611
It’s maybe a good thing that Ocean Racing leaves GP3: I read in an interview with Melker (he raced GP2 this year with Ocean) that the engineers are not motivated and that that was the reason they weren’t achieving anything.
Koiranen, essentially the Red Bull nursery, is a great addition to the GP3 series: I wonder why Red Bull had a sattelite team in GP3 or GP2. Anyway, now they have.1st October 2012, 10:55 at 10:55 am #211612
I’m not upset by this. As Nigel Melker said earlier this year, sometimes the Ocean mechanics were more interested in taking a coffee break than they were in actually working on his car. I can only imagine what they were like with the GP3 team – Ceccon wasn’t bad (though he’ll probably be remember for making bad career decisions), but Jorda and Cregan had no business racing at all this year.
Koiranen, essentially the Red Bull nursery, is a great addition to the GP3 series: I wonder why Red Bull had a sattelite team in GP3 or GP2. Anyway, now they have.
Will Buxton had a very itneresting article on this a while ago. The short version is that Red Bull and Renault have a very close relationship, and Renault got upset when they weren’t credited in the title of the GP2 Series. They wanted it to be known as something like (for example) “GP2 Series powered by Renault”, but they didn’t get it, and so they invested in the World Series by Nissan (their sister company), which became the Formula Renault series. Red Bull followed them, establishing a presence there and running all their young drivers through Formula Renault.1st October 2012, 12:28 at 12:28 pm #211613
I guess Daniil Kvyat will be one of their drivers then. So I will have someone to cheer for in GP3, good news!1st October 2012, 21:33 at 9:33 pm #211614
I think GP3 would be a step backwards for Kvyat. A move to Formula Renault 3.5 makes far more sense. If Koiranen is entering GP3 as a Red Bull team, then they’re probably doing it so that Red Bull can pick up young, highly-rated drivers – like Valterri Bottas and Mitch Evans – and redirect them into the Red Bull driver programme.2nd October 2012, 6:40 at 6:40 am #211615
I’m not really sure that would be a step backwards. Valtteri Bottas went the same path as he moved to GP3 after having won the Eurocup FR 2.0. As I understand, GP3 Series is more prominent than Eurocup FR 2.0 and that the GP3 cars are heavier and more powerful. However, FR 3.5 is obviously a higher level than GP3. So I think it’s probably about how ready a driver is, what kind of promotion is appropriate for him and if he can ‘skip’ a level or not. I’m really not an expert but I tend to think that it’s better for young drivers to spend more time in different feeder series these days when the opportunities to test F1 cars are extremely limited.2nd October 2012, 6:50 at 6:50 am #211616
The only reason why moving to GP3 would make sense for Kvyat is if the Red Bull Junior Team entry – Arden Caterham – in Formula Renault 3.5 already has two drivers. And I’m guessing it might, if they keep da Costa and Rossi. So if Red Bull feel that Kvyat is too good for Formula Renault 2.0, but he can’t get a spot in the 3.5 Series, then they might move him across to GP3 for a season and put him in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2014. After all, he’s only eighteen; he’s got time. GP3 cars will be more powerful next year, so it makes a bit more sense when you think of that. Of course, if Toro Rosso plan on dropping Ricciardo and/or Vergne after two years, then you would have to imagine that they would have earmarked da Costa and Kvyat as the next pairing.
That said, I can’t imagine that Koiranen is joining GP3 simply to give Kvyat something to do next year. I’m willing to bet that if Red Bull want to use the series to get more entry-level seats for junior drivers, then there are probably at least two promising candidates that they have their eye on and are creating seats for.
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