GP2 Series™ and GP2 Asia Series™ to be merged
A stronger and longer GP2 Series™season from 2012 onwards
GP2 organisers have announced today the merger of the GP2 Series™ and GP2 Asia Series™ starting from 2012. Launched respectively in 2005 and 2008, both Series have since then successfully become two strong and highly competitive categories, and the place to be when one ambitions to join the Formula One™ grid.
2011 saw for the first time since the inception of the GP2 Asia Series™ the same thirteen teams entered in both categories. The introduction of the third generation car, the GP2/11, also meant that for the first time the same car was used in the two categories, and therefore the two grids were almost identical since most drivers chose to take part in both Series. It was thus logical to decide to merge the two categories starting from 2012, giving the GP2 Series™ an even stronger and longer season with rounds in Europe and overseas.
GP2 Series™ CEO Bruno Michel commented: “In 2011, almost eighty-five percent of the drivers who did the Asia Series this season are taking part of the European Series as we are using the GP2/11 car in both categories. This year also marked the fact that for the first time the same thirteen teams entered both Series. We talked to them and we decided that it was logical to have one single Series from 2012. The merger will definitely help drivers gain even more experience on Formula One™ circuits throughout the world and will make the Series even more attractive and competitive. We will announce the 2012 calendar and the number of rounds at a later date.”
The merger of the two Series will happen after a single race weekend takes place on November 12-13 in Abu Dhabi alongside the penultimate race of the season, the 2011 FORMULA 1™ ETIHAD AIRWAYS ABU DHABI GRAND PRIX. Named The 2011 GP2 Final, this single event will see all thirteen GP2 teams fight for a prize fund while young bloods will try their hands at the GP2/11 car.
GP2 Series™ CEO Bruno Michel added: “We had planned to go back to Abu Dhabi in November since the beginning of this year. Yas Marina is a great track. So we decided that we would have one single race event called The 2011 GP2 Final there. It will be a fantastic opportunity for drivers who wish to do GP2 Series next year to try and have their first taste of the category in race conditions. It will also be a fantastic occasion for our teams to try new drivers and start working with them.”