As the 2015 GP2 Series season fast approaches, there has been plenty of off-track activity as drivers switch teams as well as shuffle in and out of the series.

As per the series rules, the returning champion is not allowed to defend their title, as the idea of the GP2 Series is for the champion to graduate to a Formula 1 drive.

Jolyon Palmer, who won the series last year, secured a reserve driver role with Lotus F1 team just as 2012 winner Davide Valsecchi had done. However that was as far as Valsecchi got as Lotus overlooked him when they needed a driver to replace an injured Kimi Räikkönen at the end of 2013.

Palmer is one of a number of drivers who won’t be returning to the grid; another notable absence is Felipe Nasr who signed with Sauber F1. Nasr finished third in the 2014 championship behind McLaren development driver Stoffel Vandoorne.

Stefano Coletti finished his six-year stint in the GP2 Series to drive KV Racing Technology in the IndyCar series; Takuya Izawa left ART Grand Prix to return to race in the Super Formula and Super GT series.

Tom Dillmann and Tio Ellinas will leave the series to compete in the Formula Renault 3.5 Series with Carlin and Strakka Racing respectively.

Adrian Quaife-Hobbs also left the series to join Blancpain Endurance Series with Von Ryan Racing.

Team No. Driver Nat Notes
DAMS 1 Pierre Gasly fr Moved from Caterham Racing
2 Alex Lynn uk GP2 debut; reigning GP3 Series champion
Carlin 3 Julián Leal co
4 Marco Sørenson dk Moved from MP Motorsport
ART Grand Prix 5 Stoffel Vandoorne be
6 Nobuharu Matsushita jp GP2 debut; reigning Japanese F3 champion
Racing Engineering 7 Jordan King uk GP2 debut; formerly European F3
8 Alexander Rossi us Moved from Campos Racing
Russian Time 9 Mitch Evans au
10 Artem Markelov ru
Trident 11 Raffaele Marciello it Moved from Racing Engineering
12 René Binder at Moved from Arden International
Campos Racing 14 Arthur Pic fr
15 Rio Haryanto id Moved from Caterham Racing
MP Motorsport 16 TBA
17 Daniël de Jong nl
Rapax 18 Sergey Sirotkin ru GP2 debut; formerly Formula Renault 3.5
19 Robert Vișoiu ro GP2 debut; formerly GP3 Series
Arden International 20 André Negrão br
21 Norman Nato fr GP2 debut; formerly Formula Renault 3.5
Status Grand Prix 22 Marlon Stöckinger ph GP2 debut; formerly Formula Renault 3.5
23 Richie Stanaway nz GP2 debut; formerly GP3 Series
Hilmer Motorsport 24 TBA
25 TBA
Lazarus 26 Nathanaël Berthon fr
27 Zoël Amberg ch GP2 debut; formerly Formula Renault 3.5

Leaving the GP2 Series

  • 2014 season champion Jolyon Palmer cannot return to defend his title as, under the series regulations, a driver is not allowed to continue in the series once they have won the championship. He will take up duties as reserve driver for Lotus F1.
  • Tom Dillmann, Tio Ellinas and Facu Regalia left the series to race with Carlin, Strakka Racing and Zeta Corse respectively in Formula Renault 3.5.
  • Takuya Izawa left ART Grand Prix and the series to return to Super Formula and Super GT.
  • Felipe Nasr left Carlin and the series to join the Sauber Formula One team.
  • Stefano Coletti has left the series to race in the IndyCar Series with KV Racing Technology.
  • Adrian Quaife-Hobbs left Rapax and the series to join the Blancpain Endurance Series with Von Ryan Racing.

Image via GP2 Series Media

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Josh Kruse

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