Once the second and third rounds of the 2011 GP2 Asia season were cancelled, the series was in a lurch.
With only one round completed, the credibility of this year’s GP2 Asia Series would have been shot, especially when it is not nearly considered a necessity when running its full distance.
Initially this year’s brief championship would have only seen one visit to Abu Dhabi, followed by two race weekends in Bahrain.
Had it not been for the début of the GP2/11 chassis, it is questionable as to whether the field would have been quite so enthralling, raising further questions as to the usefulness of the series.
Times are difficult and economies are still strained, making budgets for the three-round calendar tough to string together and even tougher to sell.
An international motor racing series that only comprises of two or three rounds simply doesn’t cut it in theses recessional times. Considering Bernie Ecclestone’s comments last month that “it’s the Asian series, so it’s not terribly important“, one wonders how many think of GP2 Asia in the same way.
The second and final round of the GP2 Asia Series will take place in the Italian circuit of Imola from March 18th – 20th. Ferrari junior driver, Jules Bianchi currently leads Romain Grosjean in the standings, with Davide Valsecchi, Marcus Ericsson and Josef Kral trailing not far behind.
2 thoughts on “Filling Out the Calendar”
I may have some details incorrect here but the thing that strikes me strange about the Asia series is that it seems like the same teams race in both series, so why wouldn’t you just run one longer series? If there were Asian based teams that ran the same spec as the European series it’s existence would make sense. But as is the european teams rack up the same travel expenses to run the asian races.
With IndyCar beefing up in Brazil with a second race at Porto Allegre, I have pondered if it would make sense to have a 5 – 6 race winter series that featured the 2013 IndyLights spec. The North American series could cross pollinate with the South American series at one of Brazil events and Indy in May but then the rest of the South American series could be run in Argentina, Columbia and perhaps Mexican locations.
I think it’s a question of cost. While IndyCar can lay claim to being the primary single-seater series in North America, GP2 acts primarily as a support category, meaning it may generally not get the corporate backing for it to survive alone.
As such, the drives within are often paid for by the drivers and it means that short series’ like GP2 Asia are just an extra expense – and one it could be argued, an unnecessary one.