The 2013 GP2
season will consist of 22 races over 11 race weekends, with the season finale consisting of a return to Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi for the first time in two years.
“2013 will be another strong season for GP2," said series CEO Bruno Michel. "I am very pleased to be closing the season in Abu Dhabi: we have been to that track several times with GP2
Asia and raced there last time in November 2011 with our latest generation car."
Despite the reintroduction of Abu Dhabi, the season is down one race weekend compared with 2012 after the dropping of one round in Bahrain and the loss of the Valencia weekend previously shared with the F1 calendar.
The season will get underway at the Sepang International Circuit as a support event to the F1 Malaysian Grand Prix from March 22-24, after two pre-season testing sessions for the teams at Jerez
de la Frontera (February 26-28) and Barcelona (March 5-7.)
The second round at Sakhir in Bahrain will follow a month later, but with the region still suffering from political and social unrest there will be no repeat to restage the 'back-to-back' consecutive race weekends seen in 2012.
Also missing from the calendar is a June outing on the streets of Valencia, after the street circuit was dropped from the F1 itinerary in 2013.
"We have decided to keep the prestigious tracks outside of Europe, starting with Sepang and Sakhir, two venues which provided some heart-stopping action last season," explained Michel. "We are also returning to Singapore in September for the second time of the Series' history."
The Singapore street race loses its spot as the season finale to Abu Dhabi, which means that there will be more than a month-long wait between the final two rounds of the year. The season will now not finish until the start of November in 2013.
As well as the Arabian and Asian events, Michel was also careful to point out how important the middle section of the season in the traditional European circuits remains to GP2.