GP2 and GP3: The next generation
By Andy Darley
Sunday, July 24th, 2011
They’re the rising stars of British single-seater racing, each ambitious to take their place on the F1 grid, and in the run-up to the British Grand Prix weekend they put aside their rivalries to pose for this publicity photo.
Two of the UK’s three regular GP2 drivers and its entire crop of GP3 challengers teamed up with their tyre suppliers Pirelli to give a glimpse of what the future might hold.
While reigning F1 champion Sebastian Vettel might have side-stepped the main feeder championships on his way to glory, a significant proportion of his rivals made their way through GP2 and it is still seen as the obvious route to the top.
GP3 is a newer invention, but it has so far been successful in carving out space for itself at the level previously dominated by Formula Three and it looks set to provide a steady stream of graduates to the more senior championships.
British drivers are well represented in both championships, with Sam Bird challenging for the title in GP2 and the podium in one of the Silverstone GP3 races being overflown by a trio of Union Flags as Lewis Williamson led home Alexander Sims and Dean Smith.
So, who’s who in the above photo?
Back row (left to right)
- Sam Bird
- Series: GP2 – Team: iSport – Championship position: 4th – Best race finish: 2nd, Turkey feature race
- Luciano Bacheta
- Series: GP3 – Team: RSC Mücke Motorsport – Championship position: 19th – Best race finish: 5th, Silverstone feature race
- Dean Smith
- Series: GP3 – Team: Addax – Championship position: 9th – Best race finish: 2nd, Silverstone sprint race
- Adrian Quaife-Hobbs
- Series: GP3 – Team: Marussia Manor Racing – Championship position: 7th – Best race finish: 1st, Valencia feature race
- Lewis Williamson
- Series: GP3 – Team: MW Arden – Championship position: 2nd – Best race finish: 1st, Silverstone sprint race
- Max Chilton
- Series: GP2 – Team: Carlin – Championship position: 17th – Best race finish: 6th, Monaco and Germany sprint races
Front row (left to right)
- Paul Hembrey
- Motorsport Director, Pirelli
- Alexander Sims
- Series: GP3 – Team: Status Grand Prix – Championship position: 1st – Best race finish: 1st, Turkey sprint race
- Nick Yelloly
- Series: GP3 – Team: ATECH CRS GP – Championship position: 17th – Best race finish: 3rd, Silverstone sprint race
- James Calado
- Series: GP3 – Team: Lotus ART – Championship position: 4th – Best race finish: 1st, Valencia sprint race
- Mario Isola
- Racing manager, Pirelli
- Leon Price
- Head of operations, GP3 Series
Also racing in GP2 for the full season, but not present, is last year’s Formula Two runner-up Jolyon Palmer. Other British drivers to have made starts this year include Oliver Turvey and Adam Carroll in GP2 and Callum McLeod in GP3.