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.
|DAMS||1||Pierre Gasly||Moved from Caterham Racing|
|2||Alex Lynn||GP2 debut; reigning GP3 Series champion|
|4||Marco Sørenson||Moved from MP Motorsport|
|ART Grand Prix||5||Stoffel Vandoorne|
|6||Nobuharu Matsushita||GP2 debut; reigning Japanese F3 champion|
|Racing Engineering||7||Jordan King||GP2 debut; formerly European F3|
|8||Alexander Rossi||Moved from Campos Racing|
|Russian Time||9||Mitch Evans|
|Trident||11||Raffaele Marciello||Moved from Racing Engineering|
|12||René Binder||Moved from Arden International|
|Campos Racing||14||Arthur Pic|
|15||Rio Haryanto||Moved from Caterham Racing|
|17||Daniël de Jong|
|Rapax||18||Sergey Sirotkin||GP2 debut; formerly Formula Renault 3.5|
|19||Robert Vișoiu||GP2 debut; formerly GP3 Series|
|Arden International||20||André Negrão|
|21||Norman Nato||GP2 debut; formerly Formula Renault 3.5|
|Status Grand Prix||22||Marlon Stöckinger||GP2 debut; formerly Formula Renault 3.5|
|23||Richie Stanaway||GP2 debut; formerly GP3 Series|
|27||Zoël Amberg||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