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Series CEO looks ahead to more thrills in 2012

Bruno Michel talks about the future: the forthcoming GP2 Final, what 2012 will offer after the merger with GP2 Asia, how the series is controlling costs, and where they'll find new talent.
As the confetti was swept up after the prize giving ceremony and the teams and drivers left Monza nursing more than a few hangovers following a night of well-deserved celebration, one man was already busy thinking about the next phase of the future of GP2.

Series chief executive officer Bruno Michel has two testing sessions to oversee in September and October, ahead of a unique GP2 Final event in Abu Dhabi in November to mark the merging of the GP2 Europe and GP2 Asia series in 2012 - a merger that Michel is clearly looking to.

"With the merging of GP2 Asia and GP2 Series, the main series will become a truly global category which will attract even more partners and generate an even greater interest throughout the globe," he told the GP2 Media Service on Thursday.

Michel also gave some insight into what form the first merged season would take. "We are currently working on the 2012 calendar which will most likely consist of twelve rounds, eight in Europe and four overseas," he confirmed, compared with the nine Europe-only GP2 rounds in 2011.

For Michel, a big challenge will be in ensuring that the changes do not result in spiralling costs that might drive some teams out of the championship as it runs to keep alongside the F1 Grand Prix weekends: "We are working on finding different options in order to control the costs and keep affordable a season on such a complex car and in the F1 environment," he said.

It's also been one of the reasons why Michel and the GP2 series management opted not to introduce some of the new F1 technologies into the series this year which has seen the successful roll-out of a new GP2/11-model race car.

"We considered many new options during the design period of the car, including movable wings or KERS, but decided against them as we felt it was not in keeping with the spirit of our series," said Michel. "Although they could have enhanced the power of our car it could have been an issue safety-wise."

Michel explained that as the official F1 feeder series, GP2 was walking a tightrope between hardware that is as close as possible to F1-standard, while still allowing the individual drivers to shine by themselves and thereby prove their abilities to those watching from the pit wall.

"GP2 has always been about finding the best drivers, period," he said. "Our racing car is an extremely challenging car to drive at the limit, and it is meant to be: when you are one step away from the pinnacle of motor racing, you should be able to race and overtake ... Our aim is to design the car that will be as close as a F1 car in terms of behaviour and thus give the drivers the opportunity to learn how to handle an incredibly complex machine."

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Bruno Michel, GP2 CEO. [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP2 Media Service.]
Bruno Michel, the CEO of the GP2/GP3 Series. [Photo credit: Drew Gibson/GP3 Media Service.]
Gustav Malja F2 2017
Nobuharu Matsushita - ART Grand Prix [credit: Formula 2]
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, F2, Formula 2, Bahrain
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Charles Leclerc - PREMA Racing
Artem Markelov, F2, Bahrain
Artem Markelov
Norman Nato, Bahrain F2 2017, Formula 2
Charles Leclerc, Prema Racing, Formula 2, 2017
Nabil Jeffri, Team Trident [Credit: Team Trident]
Alexander Albon - ART Grand Prix [GP2 Series]
Gustav Malja - Racing Engineering [credit: GP2 Series]
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing
Alex Lynn - DAMS
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing

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