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Prema Racing Rising to The Top in GP2

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Throughout Formula One and its feeder series, one rookie team has stood out amongst the others for their performance in 2016.

This is Prema Racing, a team that’s been involved in motorsports for three decades and worked with drivers such as former Formula One driver Robert Kubica, sportscar and Formula E racer Lucas di Grassi, and former IndyCar racer Stefano Coletti.

They made their GP2 debut at the start of the season in May and have risen to the top of the series after seven rounds.

Between their drivers Pierre Gasly and Antonio Giovinazzi, they have taken four race wins, two for each driver, and five more podiums. Gasly took two pole positions in Spain and Hungary, with Giovinazzi claiming one in Azerbaijan. The Frenchman is currently level on points with Sergey Sirotkin at the top of the championship with 113. His Italian teammate is just 13 points behind in fourth, behind Russian Time’s Raffaele Marciello.

Although the team is heavily experienced, it is quite the effort to beat the established teams in arguably the most competitive championship this season. ART Grand Prix, Racing Engineering and Russian Time are former champions in the series and have been beaten by them at selected races so far.

Their drivers have also mostly been consistent in the last four rounds. Gasly and Giovinazzi have qualified in the top five in each of those races apart from one, when Giovinazzi was 22nd on the grid for the German feature race.

Giovinazzi has also steadily made the transition to the series having raced in European Formula Three in 2015. After picking up a couple of penalties in the first couple of rounds and having a heavy hit with the barriers in the Spanish sprint race, he has grown into the series.

Gasly has also impressed with some of his racing. He took his maiden win earlier in the season and after being excluded from the German feature race and starting from 20th for the sprint race, came through the field to finish sixth with the fastest lap. Not many people are staying silent over the chances of him potentially interesting Toro Rosso in Formula One.

The team leads the Teams’ Championship by 42 points, on 213 compared to ART Grand Prix’s 171. However, the team have not scored double figures of points since the Hungarian feature race. ART have outscored them by 46 points (60 to 14) since then and closed the gap.

The team has contributed to what has been one of the most exciting seasons to date and have a real chance of becoming champions come November.

EMAIL CAMERON AT cpatersonf1@gmail.com

The thoughts and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of PopularOpenWheel.com, its owners, management or other contributors. Any links contained in this article should not be considered an endorsement. 

Cameron Paterson

Cameron Paterson is currently studying Media as well as writing for several websites. A watcher of motorsport since 2007, a casual television watch evolved to watching and reading anything related to something with wheels and an engine. A fan of writing, it was a no-brainer about what to do to try and get into the sport.

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