Prema Racing Drivers Look to be Title Favourites
With just two rounds to go in the 2016 GP2 Series, the chances of a significant amount of drivers being in contention for the title have diminished.
Just a few races ago about ten names could be named as possible winners, but the unpredictability of the series has shaken up the championship.
Four races in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi remain on the calendar before racing ends at the end of November. There is a maximum of 96 points available for one driver to earn. Two feature race wins (25 points), two pole positions (four points), two fastest laps (two points), two sprint race wins (15 points), and two additional fastest laps (two points) can be added to a points total.
Pierre Gasly leads the way with 174 points, with Prema Racing teammate Antonio Giovinazzi just ten points back. The two are running away at the front with Prema now having seven of 14 race wins.
Raffaele Marciello is third on 138 points for Russian Time, but a 15th place finish in the sprint race in Monza has put him on the back foot. ART Grand Prix’s Sergey Sirotkin has had another dry spell recently with results well outside of the points positions.
Two rounds ago he was level on points with Gasly at 113 points but has just had one points finish – ninth in the Belgian feature race to add another two points to his tally. Sirotkin has fallen to fourth and is just three and eight points ahead of Racing Engineering’s Jordan King and Norman Nato.
Much like the start of the season he has just strangely been nowhere in the results and had average results, his last two finishes were just in 16th and 14th before failing to finish in the Monza sprint race.
It looks like these two can no longer win the title as they don’t have the consistency at the front to keep up with the fight. Marciello has had great form in collecting points finishes, but they haven’t quite been spectacular enough to move forward with just five podium finishes. Gasly and Giovinazzi both have seven. He could be classed as the outsider.
The big concern is now placing these two somewhere if they have to leave the series at the end of the year as champions.
Gasly is already within the Red Bull stable, and rumors emerged at the Italian Grand Prix, which he publicly denied, about replacing Daniil Kvyat in Singapore. Much of this gossip has said if he was given the option of racing in Formula One in 2016, he would leave GP2.
Could rumors about Formula One destabilize Gasly? He would already have a bit of edge on Giovinazzi in the final round in knowing the Yas Marina Circuit as he has raced around Abu Dhabi before in both GP2 and in Formula One young driver tests.
Giovinazzi has had no real rumors yet, which is surprising as he is the top rookie and has been sensational this year. If he were to win the title, it would be hoped that he would not be another champion left without a seat in Formula One.
The two drivers are both capable of being champions, and this title battle looks to be heading in Prema’s direction.
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