GP2 Series organisers announced this week that Pirelli are set to continue supplying the GP2 and GP3 Series’ tyres for the upcoming seasons.
The Italian tyre company began their relationship with the GP3 Series in 2010, with the GP2 Series following suit a year later.
Much has been made of the continuity Pirelli’s supply offers to GP2/3 drivers, as they look toward Formula One – a championship also supplied by Pirelli; however the latter category has yet to consummate a deal with the tyre company.
According to GP2 Series CEO Bruno Michel, “It was then natural to choose them for GP2 Series since they also had become F1 sole supplier and it has always been our philosophy to use the same tyre supplier as F1’s. For the past three seasons this partnership has provided some of the best races in our history.”
Michel added that, “[Pirelli] fully supports [drivers] in the development of their career: the GP3 Champion will again receive a cheque of 200,000 Euros from Pirelli should he graduate to GP2 whilst the GP2 Champion will be offered a day of tyre testing behind the wheel of a Formula One car.”
Meanwhile in on track action, Jolyon Palmer has taken pole position for the GP2 Feature Race, following on from assuming the top spot in today’s free practice session.
The Carlin racer secured the pole – his first in GP2 – by a quarter-of-a-second over teammate Felipe Nasr. Sitting 9th in the points standings, Palmer is just in it for race wins and glory at this stage, but Nasr will be looking to finally nail a GP2 victory following two horror rounds at Spa-Francorchamps and Monza.
At one point, the Brazilian narrowly trailed then series-leader Stefano Coletti, but in the time since, Nasr has dropped to 4th, some 29 points shy of current top man Fabio Leimer.
Coletti, too, has fallen from contention – only one points finish in the last eight races (a podium in the Nürburgring Feature Race) has seen the Monegasque race fall to 3rd, now 24 points adrift of Leimer.
Racing Engineering’s Leimer qualified a very respectable 3rd position for tomorrow’s race, with new GP2 Series challenger, Sam Bird, with a bit more to do from 10th on the grid, after he was blocked by Johnny Cecotto Jr.
Meanwhile, Julian Leal was found to have blocked Cecotto Jr – both Cecotto Jr and Leal received three-place grid penalties dropping them to 14th and 16th places respectively.
Aside from that, Giancarlo Raimondo makes his GP2 debut this weekend with Trident Racing. The Canadian replaces Sergio Campana, who had replaced Sergio Campana, who had replaced Ricardo Teixeira, who had originally replaced Kevin Ceccon.
Raimondo, who has not competed anywhere this year, comes from a relatively successful season in the European Formula 3 Open Series, where he finished runner-up to Niccolò Schirò. The 22-year-old also has experience in the now defunct F3 Euro Series, Italian Formula 3 and Formula BMW Americas. Raimondo starts tomorrow’s Feature Race from 25th position.