GP2 Series organisers are proud to reveal the name of the thirteen teams signed for the next three years. While eleven outfits of the last three-year cycle have been reselected, two new teams have been chosen to compete in both Series for 2011, 2012 and 2013: Carlin and Team Air Asia. The British squad have just completed the inaugural GP3 Series season and finished fifth in the Teams’ standings. Team Air Asia is an ambitious new Malaysian team strongly linked to Formula One. All thirteen teams are entered for both GP2 Asia Series and GP2 Series for the next three years.
GP2 Series: Bruno, can you tell us why you have chosen Carlin and Team Air Asia to join the GP2 field?
Bruno Michel: We have known and observed Carlin for a long time. We signed them in GP3 Series and we have been very pleased not with only their results which included two podiums and one pole position, but also with the way they integrated into our working environment. To have them enter GP2 is the logical next step. As for Team Air Asia, it is a new team built on a strong relationship with a current Formula One team presided by Tony Fernandes. The seriousness of their presentation, their ambition and their worldwide project were really appealing and in line with what we expect from all our teams. We are very happy to welcome an Asian team to our paddock.
GP2 Series: You kept eleven out of the twelve teams that competed in the last three-year cycle. What motivated this decision?
Bruno Michel: We have developed very strong links and a healthy relationship with our teams over the course of the past three years, but when it was time to make decisions, we based them on sporting results. Our wish was to open our grid to new teams and also return to the original number of thirteen entries. Therefore, we looked at the results of all completed seasons of the last three-year cycle and based on that kept eleven teams in order to welcome two new outfits.
GP2 Series: When will this be effective?
Bruno Michel: First of all, we have to conclude the ongoing GP2 Series 2010 season. Although Pastor Maldonado was crowned Champion in Monza, the honour places are still up for grabs and the teams’ championship is still wide opened. We have one more round to go in Abu Dhabi on 13 and 14 of November. The 2011-13 field and our new GP2/11 car will debut in late January for testing and the opening of the new GP2 Asia season. This fourth edition will be made of three rounds and will conclude in Bahrain as a support race for Formula One on 11-13 March. The GP2 Series will then open in Istanbul in May also with F1.
The following teams entered 2011 GP2 Series and GP2 Asia Series*
Arden International NED
ART Grand Prix FRA
Barwa Addax Team ESP
iSport International GBR
Ocean Racing Technology POR
Racing Engineering ESP
Scuderia Coloni ITA
Super Nova Racing GBR
Team Air Asia MAS
Trident Racing ITA
*in alphabetical order