Home Featured PaddockScout Awards 2014: Championship of the Year

PaddockScout Awards 2014: Championship of the Year

by Formula Scout

GP2 award

GP2 Series

With nine of Formula One teams having announced their lineups for 2015 and Caterham and Marussia still remaining in all sorts of trouble, it seems that, for a third year in a row, the GP2 champion will not be graduating to F1.

And yet, despite that unfortunate milestone, GP2 has comfortably made this list yet again and one can even go as far as suggesting that 2014 was one of its better years.

During the pre-season, GP2 made some notable acquisitions in the driver department, including two much-hyped rookies in Stoffel Vandoorne and Raffaele Marciello. Returnees Felipe Nasr and Mitch Evans also bolstered the grid and, despite the usual abundance of overly experienced GP2 career racers, the season was expected to shine with quality.

Much noise was made of rookie Vandoorne winning on his debut in the series, but it was somewhat of a false omen, as GP2 continued to be dominated by experience. The Belgian hit a rough patch, the likes of Cecotto, Richelmi and Leal started banking lots of points, and fourth-year racer Jolyon Palmer immediately pulled out a sizeable lead.

To Palmer’s credit, while his experience was a huge factor, he was comfortably GP2’s most convincing champion since 2011 ? relentlessly consistent, a great overtaker and making the most out of the rapid DAMS car in qualifying. Palmer never quite looked like losing the title, which hurt the intrigue, but his verbal and on-track encounters with rival and former teammate Nasr made for a great show.

The show aspect of it all was, indeed, as good as ever. As far as the racing goes, the combination of tyre degradation and the one-make formula has long meant that GP2 was the most entertaining upper-level junior single-seater championship around ? and 2014 was no different. The racing was extremely memorable and the series did its customary grand job with the presentation.

And, by the end of it all, even the experience factor was somewhat mitigated ? the brilliant Vandoorne took four poles in a row on his way to snatching runner-up, while Marciello, despite a season with plenty of troubles, actually managed to win a feature race.

So, 2014 should be recorded in the history books as a pretty good year for GP2. However, with Vandoorne set to return and DAMS looking to sign Gasly and Ocon, there’s a good chance 2015 might blow it out of the water.

Valentin Khorounzhiy

Next: And the winner is…