This weekend marks the final round of the 2014 GP2 Series which will be held at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi. The series returns after a long break since the last race six weeks ago in Russia.
In Sochi, Jolyon Palmer was crowned the 2014 GP2 series champion after he won the feature race ahead of main rival Felipe Nasr, who finished the race in 16th after receiving two penalties.
With Palmer becoming the tenth GP2 Series champion, he joins Romain Grosjean and Davide Valsecchi as DAMS champions. DAMS are now equally successful as ART Grand Prix, who have also crowned three GP2 champions (Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Hülkenberg).
Heading into the last two races of the season there are still the podium places to be finalised, with Nasr just eight points ahead of McLaren protégé Stoffel Vandoorne. The battle is a close one as both drivers have been on the podium nine times throughout this season.
Nasr will have a challenge on his hands this weekend as Vandoorne is in red-hot form. The Belgian has taken pole position three times in a row and is on the hunt for his fourth in Abu Dhabi.
Unlike Formula 1 where the race begins at sunset and finishes at night, the GP2 events will be at various times throughout the weekend. The qualifying session and the feature race will take place at night while practice and the sprint race will run in the heat of the day. This will test the drivers’ skills in adapting to the tracks temperature and also their tyre management skills, as they will have to deal with a both cool and hot track surface.
Ferrari academy driver Raffaele Marciello will serve his five-place grid penalty for the Feature Race this weekend after he collided with Palmer in the Sochi sprint race.
There will be three driver changes for the final round of 2014. Conor Daly returns to Venezuela GP Lazarus, taking his seat back from Sergio Campaña. Hilmer Motorsport’s Daniel Abt opted to contest the second round of the Formula E championship in Malaysia, so his seat will be filled by Formula 3 driver Nicholas Latifi. Finally, former GP2 driver Kevin Giovesi will take Tio Ellinas’ place at Rapax and line up alongside Simon Trummer.
Images via GP2 Media