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GP2 Driver of the Year vote: 9th

19 December 2011

Top 10 GP2 Driver of the Year 2011:
9. Tom Dillmann

Birthplace: Mulhouse, France
Team: iSport International
2011 starts: 2
Poles: 0
Wins: 0
Podiums: 1
Fastest laps: 0
Championship points: N/A (Asia), N/A (Europe)
Championship position: N/A (Asia), N/A (Europe)

Tom Dillmann caught the attention of a lot of voters in the Crash.net poll despite only being in one round of GP2 in the entire year. He actually started off 2011 racing for Carlin in the GP3 championship and snapped up an immediate third place in the opening round at Turkey, but after sitting out the Barcelona weekend he was then off to Addax for the remainder of the season.

He had a decent introductory year in that championship but was hit by four retirements out of 12 races and managed to finish in the points only three times, leaving him 14th in the GP3 drivers' standings. But it still was enough to demonstrate his talent and catch the eyes of team bosses in GP2, and after post-season testing with Addax and iSport at Jerez and then iSport again at Barcelona, it was the British squad that managed to procure his services for the GP2 Final exhibition non-championship weekend in Abu Dhabi.

Dillmann qualified in ninth place for the feature race and went on to finish as the top-placed rookie on the day, driving to an assured sixth place despite sustained and intense pressure from another new boy in the series, Antonio Felix da Costa. That put him in third place on the grid for the following day's sprint race, and another confident drive from Dillmann saw him recover from an early poor start to claim that podium position by the end of the race.

This meant that Dillmann finished equal on points with Britain's James Calado in the fight for the Pirelli award for the best GP3 graduate's performance of the weekend: Calado took the 15,000 Euros top prize by virtue of having won the sprint race from pole position, while Dillmann took home the 10,000 Euros second prize.

Calado is already signed up for a year in GP2 with Lotus ART; but what about Dillmann? He might have caught Crash.net voters with his a strong and consistent performance rating over Calado's more showy maiden race win, but it's not yet clear whether the 22-year-old Frenchman is seen as quite ready for a full-time stint in GP2 or whether he would be better off with a complete run in GP3 to hone his skills first. But whether in 2012 or 2013, there can be little doubt that Dillmann's name will be on the side of a GP2/11 Dallara monocoque sooner or later.

Top 10 GP2 Driver of the Year 2011 results so far:

10. Luiz Razia


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