Crash.Net GP2 News
Series celebrates season with prize ceremony
15 September 2011
The GP2 Series put on a show of a different kind after the race weekend activities came to an end at Monza, with the drivers and teams getting together to hand out the awards and prizes for the 2011 season's achievements.
Romain Grosjean picked up his trophy for first place in the drivers' championship, completing his clean sweep of the GP2 Europe/GP2 Asia titles in 2011 in the final season before they merge in 2012.
The Dams driver follows in the footsteps of previous GP2 champions Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Timo Glock, Giorgio Pantano, Nico Hulkenberg and Pastor Maldonardo - all of whom graduated to F1. Grosjean too is hoping that this is the step he needs to return to the F1 paddock in 2012, with the signs suggesting that be may be back on the Grand Prix grid in a Renault next season.
Following the fascinatingly tight battle for the runner-up position over the Monza weekend, Coloni's Luca Filippi and ART's Jules Bianchi picked up their well deserved and hard fought prizes for second and third place.
Barwa Addax team owner Alejandro Agag accepted the Champions Trophy for the winning team, having dominated the season with strong performances from both of their drivers Giedo van der Garde and Charles Pic. Dams took their silverware for finishing runners-up thanks to Grosjean's consistently strong solo showing throughout the season.
The serious prizes over with, there were some more light-hearted awards to hand out - such as the trophy for "Best car livery" as voted for by GP2 fans, with the award going to Racing Engineering who netted almost 2000 votes (30% of the total) and which was accepted by team owner Alfonso de Orléans Borbon, who also took home the trophy for the third placed team in the championship.
An award for "Best Fighting Spirit" went to Johnny Cecotto for his efforts to stay in the points in the Spa sprint race, while "Best On-Track Battle" went to Jules Bianchi and Christian Vietoris for their thrilling fight in the Silverstone feature race on lap 17. "Best Overtaking Manoeuvre" went to Esteban Gutierrez for his move on Charles Pic and Luca Filippi on lap 7 of the Nurburgring feature race, while Lotus ART took the prize for the GP2 Football Challenge.
Four hundred and fifty people attended the prize ceremony, which also gave one last opportunity for some competition: a driver from each team trying out the Pirelli simulator, while the other driver managed the pit stop. It was a battle that at the end of the evening went to Caterham Team AirAsia's duo of Luiz Razia and Davide Valsecchi.