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Series unveils 2013 race schedule

19 December 2012

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.

"We will be racing alongside F1 in all seven European rounds, which brings a total of eleven F1 tracks on our calendar again next season," he said. "Since the Series started in 2005, we have always provided the drivers with a car close to F1 in performance and used the same tyres.

"This package guarantees the GP2 drivers to gain the ultimate and most-needed experience to graduate to the next category," he continued. "Our sole goal has always been and will continue to remain to prepare the next generation of F1 drivers. I believe that's exactly what we will see again in 2013 and I am really looking forward to next season."

The GP3 Series calendar for 2013 was also unveiled, with eight race weekends expected to form next year's championship. While mostly echoing the European leg of the F1/GP2 season, the series is also hoping to run a stand-alone event from June 14-16 at a still-to-be-announced venue.

Significantly, the GP3 Series teams will also head out of Europe for the very first time to join F1 and GP2 at Yas Marina in Abu Dhabi at the start of November.

"The fact that the season will end in Abu Dhabi marks GP3 history with the first race weekend that will take place outside of Europe," said Michel. "It will be a thrilling challenge to the drivers as well as providing a spectacular conclusion for the fans at the Yas Marina Circuit. With the introduction of the new GP3/13 car: together with a brand new venue, this moves the Series in yet another positive direction."

GP2 Series - 2013 Calendar
Pre-season tests
February 26-28, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain
March 5-7, Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain

Races
March 22-24 Sepang, Malaysia
April 19-21 Sakhir, Bahrain
May 10-12 Barcelona, Spain
May 24-26 Monte Carlo, Monaco
June 28-30 Silverstone, Great Britain
July 5-7 Nurburg, Germany
July 26-28 Budapest, Hungary
August 23-25 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
September 6-8 Monza, Italy
September 20-22 Singapore, Singapore
November 1-3 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

GP3 Series - 2013 Calendar
Pre/mid-season tests
February 20-22 Estoril, Portugal
March 12-13 Circuit de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain
April 3-4 Silverstone, Great Britain
June 14-16 Budapest, Hungary

Races
May 10-12 Barcelona, Spain
June 14-16 TBA
June 28-30 Silverstone, Great Britain
July 5-7 Nurburg, Germany
July 26-28 Budapest, Hungary
August 23-25 Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
September 6-8 Monza, Italy
November 1-3 Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates


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