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GP Week : Issue 48
Bruno with Technical Director Didier Perrin T he fifth season of GP2 is upon us and the championship has come a long way in the last four seasons. At the tail end of 2004, nobody knew what the new championship would bring and why there was even a need to replace the old F3000. But despite the questions, GP2 soon established itself as not only a better all round championship than F3000, but a more exciting one too. In the last four years it has always seen drivers graduate to F1, and in 2009 30% of the Formula 1 grid is made up of former GP2 drivers. So how does GP2 work, and what’s the secret of its success? Simplicity, says GP2 Series organiser Bruno Michel, is what it’s all about. “First it is because we race with Formula 1 and this provides the championship with a great fanbase in the grandstands, the best circuits on which to race, and a shop window for the F1 teams,” he says. “The second thing is the show 3 itself. The way the car is designed puts the emphasis on driver skill and because of this we have always had exciting races. And third is because the championship runs on simplicity and quality. “From the design of the car through to the organisational structure of the championship, we designed GP2 to operate as simply as possible. One car, one engine, one type of tyre all of which provided by companies we knew and trusted and who have impressed us year after year with their level of service. We have kept things simple with the teams and drivers too. We only have two different teams on the grid today than when we started in 2005, and the greatest importance has always been placed on driver skill. It’s a simple concept, but it works.” But for all the simplicity of the concept it nearly came unstuck at the first hurdle. The championship’s first practice session at Imola back in 2005 saw 16 cars eliminated with electrical problems. It was a huge