The GP2 Series is a one-make championship consisting of 22 identical cars. The chassis are designed by Dallara Automobili, and since 2012 has run under the specification GP2/11. The power base is a Mecachrome assembled 4L Renault V8 engine.
The GP2 Series uses slick Pirelli tyres in four specifications (super soft, soft, medium and hard) which are predetermined by Pirelli in advance of the race weekend.
Each driver has five sets of dry-weather tyres per weekend – three of “prime” specification and two of “option” specification. Each driver will also be provided with three sets of wet-weather tyres.
The compulsory pit-stop during Race One remains in which all four tyres must be changed. In a change of regulations in 2014, unless he has used wet-weather tyres during Race 1, each driver must use at least one set of each specification of dry-weather tyres during Race 1.
This mandatory pit stop may not be carried out until the driver has completed six laps or during a Virtual Safety Car (VSC) intervention, unless the driver is already in the pit entry or pit lane at the time the VSC is deployed.
No individual developments or upgrades are permitted in the series, and all spare parts must be purchased directly from the GP2 Series. Repairs of structural components must be carried out by Dallara in order to ensure integrity.
Weekend format and points allocation
A race weekend is composed of one practice session of forty-five minutes and one half hour qualifying session, followed by two races.
The qualifying session is a straight fight for fastest laptime, and determines the order of the grid for Race 1. Four points are awarded for pole position.
Race 1 is run over 170km or 60 minutes (except for Monaco where the race is run over 140km and in Budapest where the race is run over 160km), and each driver must complete one compulsory pitstop and must use at least one set of each specification of dry-weather tyres.
The top ten drivers score points (25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1) with two points being awarded to the driver who set the fastest lap of the race.
The grid for Race 2 is determined by the finishing order of the first race, with the top 8 positions reversed. Race 2 is run over 120km or 45 minutes (except for Monaco where the race is run over 100km), with no pitstops allowed.
The top eight finishers score points (15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1) and the driver who sets the fastest lap scores two points.
Any driver who is not classified in the top ten positions at the end of the race or, didn’t start the race from his normal grid position or, changed tyres during race two at a time when climatic conditions did not necessitate the use of a different specification of tyre, will not be eligible for points awarded for fastest lap.
Since 2015, GP2 cars have used the Drag Reduction System (DRS).
The drivers are able to use the DRS as they wish within the designated DRS zones during free practice and qualifying. During both races however, the drivers will only be allowed to activate DRS within the designated zones when they are within less than a second of the car in front at the detection point.
During the race, the DRS is available for use after two laps unless decided otherwise by the race director due to poor weather conditions or yellow flags in the designated DRS zones, which will be the same as the ones used in Formula One on every circuit of the calendar.
The same safety rules apply: the DRS is disabled at the end of the designated zones, and the first time the driver uses the brakes after activation.