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Series CEO looks ahead to more thrills in 2012

He added, "Fans and experts appreciate GP2 because it is pure racing and the best driver always wins ... The F1 teams also appreciate this: they are watching the best young drivers in the world prove themselves in a car as close as possible to the challenge of an F1 car."

And Michel believes that the quality of the drivers who have graduated from GP2 speaks volumes, especially those who have proved themselves worthy champions.

"Romain Grosjean proving himself worthy to sit with our previous champions: hopefully he will soon join the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Timo Glock and Pastor Maldonado in the F1 paddock," he said, pointing out that 11 drivers on the current grid have arrived through GP2, and a total of 45 drivers since 2005. "I'm sure we will see more drivers promoted from GP2 once again next year."

One way or another it seems unlikely that Grosjean or even Fillipi will be back in GP2 in 2012, which means Michel also has to make sure that the stream of talent on which the series relies for its thrills and its credibility keeps on coming - which is what the GP2 Final event in November is all about. Michel is hoping that many of the teams will use the non-championship exhibition event to test out some new talent ahead of preparing their line-ups for next season rather than relying on their existing driver line-ups, and especially wants to see some of the talent from the GP3 Series have a chance to shine.

GP2's tyre supplier and official partner Pirelli has already stepped up to offer a cash enticement to help make that happen, with a prize of 15,000 Euros for the 2011 GP3 Series driver taking part who has the most points at the end of the weekend and a further 10,000 Euros for the second-placed GP3 graduate.

"I hope to see many GP3 graduates show that they are ready for the next step in front of the F1 paddock, and fight for the Pirelli prize money," said Michel, who described the Final as "the perfect opportunity for young drivers and among them GP3 racers to have their first taste of a GP2 race weekend, and prove their worth in front of the F1 paddock and the rest of the GP2 field.

"It will be interesting to see who will be the next generation of young guns fighting in GP2 Series in 2012 or the coming years," he concluded. And it will, because on past performance those will prove to be the stars and the world champions of F1 in turn.

The GP2 test sessions will take place on 28-29 September in Jerez and 19-20 October in Barcelona. The GP2 Final event will support the F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi and will be held on 11-13 November at the Yas Marina F1 circuit.

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.]
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
Pierre Gasly - PREMA Racing

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