In The Picture: GP2 Cars In 2014

In The Picture: GP2 Cars In 2014

The start of the Sochi GP2 Feature Race. 2014 Sochi GP2 Series Round

Glenn Dunbar / © LAT Photographic
We take a picture from the past and give it some context and if you enjoy these please do share on social media and let us know your thoughts.
At a glance, this image of the 2014 GP2 Feature Race start in Sochi may just be business as usual – but what if some of these same cars (albeit modified) were considered in an effort to bolster the F1 grid in subsequent years? This extraordinary scenario nearly happened in late 2014 when then-F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone mooted an idea to include so-called “Super GP2” cars to create a two-tier championship and increase field size. This obviously never happened but it seems that talks of adding the number of cars
In October 2021, Michael Andretti’s Andretti Autosport organization were closing in on a deal to buy 80% of shares in Islero Investments AG – current owners of Sauber Motorsport AG who currently operate the Alfa Romeo F1 team – and looked set to become the 11th F1 team on the grid in 2024. But sadly that deal
In recent times, F1 has had this sort of unofficial two-tier class where the frontrunners (eg. Ferrari and Red Bull in 2022) are miles clear of the pack – with the proverbial “Formula 1.5” class being populated by the teams running best of the rest – in the 20-car field. While the “Formula 1.5” class denoter is more of a fun minigame for F1 fans rooting for their favourite non-championship contenders, historically F1 did have an actual second tier championship for non-turbo entrants – the Jim Clark Trophy for drivers and the Colin Chapman Trophy for constructors – which was only ever contested once in 1987.
Fast forward to 2014 and the case for a two-tier class championship was made again as the turbo-hybrid era in F1 kicked off. The goal of the new “power units” was to make F1 road relevant and keeping engine manufacturers interested, the reality however became quite the opposite.  Instead the engines were too complicated and too expensive, which warded off potential manufacturers and prospective entrants to enter F1. It’s with this backdrop at the end of 2014 that the GP2 Series came into the picture.
F1’s primary support series was in good health that season with 13 teams competing and a total of 26 cars in a single race weekend. The car used in 2014 was first introduced in 2011, powered by a 4.0-litre V8 normally-aspirated Mechachrome engine and with the chassis built by Dallara. At around €2 million per car, it may have been more expensive than in some competing junior formulae; but that number would be attractive to potential teams who are looking to start out in F1 with other expenses considered.

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In The Picture: GP2 Cars In 2014