“Thoughts on the 2015 GP2 Series calendar”
There were precious few surprises to be found in the GP2 Series calendar for 2015 – and to be fair, none were expected.
As per usual, the series will play support to Formula One, but that has always been the case and it cites it as one of its major selling points.
And while that is perfectly fine in itself for much of the season, it also presents its own set of problems.
In following Formula One so rigidly, there are a few unfortunately gaps in the calendar, starting with the four-week break between Monaco and Austria, which is in place as F1 visits Canada.
Later, after the summer holiday break between the Hungarian and Belgian rounds, the series and its competitors are faced with another two lengthy gaps as Formula One leaves Europe for the Far East, Americas and then back to the Middle East.
On the face of it, that might not mean much, but at the business end to a championship, five and six week gaps between the final three rounds present a break of momentum that can easily derail a campaign.
This was not as big an issue this year, as both the GP2 and GP3 series’ were as good as wrapped up come Monza, but one must not underestimate how such a break could potentially crack a run of results.
There are solutions, but few are realistic. Preventing these gaps by ending the season after Monza would drastically shorten the calendar and weaken the series in the eyes of competitors. Unfortunately the loss of some European rounds in recent years makes it almost impossible to keep the championship within the boundaries of continent, while adding the likes of Singapore back onto the schedule would merely increase the costs of competing beyond reason.
Standalone events are also out of the question, as the costs of running a single event and presenting it as a live television broadcast to FOM standards is simply prohibitive. That would merely be a last gasp measure and the series is nowhere near contemplating that.
Alas, what exists now is probably the best solution available.