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GP Week : Issue 80
instant. Charles Pic's pole position in Abu Dhabi was Arden's first since 2005. With a young team of engineers led by Campbell Hobson, Arden has a new direction and a new feeling of confidence in itself and its new driver. Pic could yet be the dark horse of the season. He impressed hugely in Asia, and it will be fascinating to see how he fares in the big league. With Arden back in its traditional F3000 livery, there's a real feeling that 2010 could see a return to the old days of regular race wins and fighting for championships. Ocean Racing Technology 18. Max Chilton 19. Fabio Leimer Ocean hit the ground running in 2009, as the replacement for the disappointing BCN squad which currently resides in history as the only GP2 team to never have won a race. Chandhok so nearly won for Ocean in Monaco, but it was in Spa last year that things really turned around when Parente took the team's first pole and followed it up with a dominant race win. For a team in its first season, getting a victory was a huge effort and the Portuguese outfit under the leadership of former F1 driver Tiago Monteiro quickly established itself as a team to watch. For 2010 they've opted for the risky two- rookie line-up. Both are young and will be on a steep learning curve but Leimer has form. Don't underestimate these boys. They won't win the title but could grab some podiums later in the year. PPR.com Scuderia Coloni 20. Alberto Valerio 21. Vladimir Arabadziev Every year you want to say something good about this team, but every year you end up struggling. The component parts have been there for some time, but the constant changes that have affected team management have always seemed to affect ultimate competitiveness. With Zanarini and Fisichella now firmly out of the picture, the return of the Coloni name to the squad for a full season should give the team its core pride back, and Paolo Coloni and Dino Luisso will want to get back to the successful F3000 and GP2 days of old. With Valerio as lead driver that won't be easy. He's a lovely bloke but an accident waiting to happen on track. Yes he got a win last year, but his errors are far too frequent. His team-mate however is the promising Bulgarian Vlado Arabadziev. Already a race winner in AutoGP in 2010, keep an eye on this kid. Trident Racing 22. Johnny Cecotto Jr. 23. TBA Second from bottom was not in the game plan for Trident Racing in 2009, especially as the position gave them the unenviable place at the bottom of the pile of pride for Italian teams (with the obvious exception of Durango which failed to make the end of the season and will not race in 2010.) The Asia series this year was notable not for any major success, but more for the team's choice to run 39-year old Plamen Kralev who was, quite frankly, an embarrassment. One hopes the money he ploughed into the team will allow it to take on more worthy drivers with slightly smaller wallets in 2010, and the team's choice of Johnny Cecotto Jr is a sound one. He's young, hungry and has promise but he will need a more experienced team-mate to show him the way and help Trident regain its form. DPR 24. Michael Herck 25. Giacomo Ricci Never thought we'd be saying this but DPR was one of the stand-out teams of this winter's GP2 Asia Series. There were those within the paddock who cruelly likened their success to filling a room with monkeys and typewriters. Give them long enough, so their detractors said, and they'd write Shakespeare. Others said there simply wasn't the quality in the Asia field this winter. But in the cold light of day, it now seems clear that all it boils down to DPR actually doing a pretty good job. That the team is still called DPR grates many, as there is nothing about the team that has anything in common with Dave Price's outfit, and one hopes that if the team survives the selection process for 2011 it will be renamed. For 2010, Herck is still error prone but improving with every race, while Ricci really came of age over the winter. Championship contenders? No. Race winners? Incredibly, DPR might just be. Young talent time: How many of these hopefuls will be on the F1 grid in 2011 or 2012? GP2 PREVIEW >> 29