The Drood Report

Nick Fry is a jerk.

GP2 Asia Recap (And GP2 Barcelona thoughts)

I’ve followed GP2, or Formula 3000 as it was, for a fair few years now, though it was only 2006 where I started following it regularly. That was when I became a Lewis Hamilton fan. Then he came to F1 and opened his mouth and paraded his father around and that was the end of that.

Anyhoo, GP2 Asia was a sort of Winter League for GP2. I guess to keep them all out of mischief before the regular season started. Essentially the engines were detuned to increase reliability, everything was loaded into a shipping crate, and the entire lot was sent off to Asia for 10 rounds of fun and excitement. And fun and excitement there was.

Sentul, site of the Indonesian round, was a joke. The circuit was terrible. The dust was insane. The track workers incompetent. All this, of course, led to fascinating viewing, if not fascinating racing. The dust seemed like the sort you see on clay tennis courts, and when a car went offline, anyone behind practically disappeared in the cloud. On top of all that, it rained. The entire event was a wonderful “How NOT To Run A Professional Racing Event”. Absolute farce. The Dubai rounds were only slightly more professional, and in the final weekend especially there were some eyebrow raising incidents from the track workers.

By far the best rounds were in Bahrain. It was great to sit down after a moderately enjoyable Bahrain F1 race and watch the division 2 boys drive their nuts off. There was more action in this two race event (they run a feature and a sprint race) than an entire F1 season pretty much. Just battles all through the field. As the commentator said, for every pass you see on camera, there are ten others you don’t. As I said at the time, if you can, FIND SOME COVERAGE of that weekend. Just flat out brilliant stuff. Sadly a search of YouTube did not turn up anything useful. Perhaps, if I get around to it and install the right toys, I should make my own highlight video and upload it. Risking the wrath of Bernie’s Elite Ninja Lawyers, but sod ‘im. If I do, I’ll upload it somewhere other than YouTube so it’s less likely to disappear. Wish I had some kind of gauge as to how many people are actually reading this to know if it’s worth it or even appreciated. I know for sure I have TWO readers. Three if you include me!

So after 10 rounds, one name really shone. No, it wasn’t the much hyped Bruno Senna. It was the Swiss driver, racing under a French license, Romain Grosjean. He absolutely dominated the series and won my undying devotion as a fan, not to mention the inaugural GP2 Asia championship. He’s a real racer. Right up there with Alonso, Raikkonen etc… Look forward to him getting into F1, hopefully in a good team.

Which brings us to this weekend in Barcelona. Both races were okay. Not up to Bahrain standards, but still fun. More fun than the F1 anyway. (Not that the F1 was especially bad.) Once again Grosjean put on a demonstration of how to fight and pass guys in equal equipment. Then got a drive thru penalty for his trouble. This was weird. There was a restart after some muppet spun coming out of that pathetic chicane and stalled it. On the restart Grosjean made a bit of an error allowing Kobayashi to close up. He moved all the way over to the right, then back over to the left to take his line, squeezing Kobayashi, and entering the corner in a cloud of tyre smoke. Now at first glance I felt the punishment was entirely fair. It was only when they replayed it and I stopped to consider it, it seemed dubious. While the move WAS out of line (I think all this weaving crap is out of line to be honest. That’s what comes from a generation of drivers that grew up watching Michael Schumacher), you see it all the time in GP2, often ending in tears.

Now I am not the slightest bit trusting of the FIA. I believe they are a corrupt organization, incapable of being impartial. Petty prejudices and desires will always entire their rulings in my opinion. An opinion based on years of previous evidence.

Anyone betting on GP2 would be unwise to bet against Grosjean being champion after his GP2 Asia performance. His penalty makes my spider sense tingle. Could it be the FIA punished Grosjean basically because they had a good reason too, and want to try and keep the title battle close? I mean nobody is really going to care about dodgy officiating in GP2 except for those in the actual series, nor is it going to get any media coverage. It just makes me very suspicious when I see a move that happens at least 10 times in any GP2 race, and they just happen to punish the one that will, ultimately, effect the championship. Perhaps there was more to it than met the eye. I was watching a race with ambient sounds only, no commentary, so maybe I missed something. (A truly marvelous and absorbing way to watch a race. Just the glorious engine sounds.) I’m still sitting here, eyebrow askew, and a tingling spider sense. (Should see a doctor about that.)

Curious to see if anyone (barring the FIA of course) can stop Grosjean. If GP2 Asia was anything to go by, the answer is “not bloody likely”. Bruno Senna is amounting to very little to be quite honest, and if he makes it to F1 I fear it will be on name alone. There’s a few other good drivers in GP2 (such as the aforementioned Kobayashi), but really, Grosjean owned GP2 Asia, and will most likely own the regular GP2 season as well.

At least when Lewis was dominating he had Piquet as a foil.

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April 28, 2008 - Posted by | f1

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