With no racing going ahead due to COVID-19, many race fans have been starting to start twiddling their thumbs desperate for some good news.
We have decided to reminisce about the days when GP2 was our source of non-Grand Prix excitement
For over eleven years the GP2 series moulded the Grand Prix drivers of the future into World Champions and race winners with thirty-four out of the one hundred seventy-five drivers who started a GP2 race graduating onto the F1 grid.
Although the days of twenty-six car grids, standalone races and cars being plastered full of sponsors no one has ever heard of,Â may have gone for a while, GP2 certainly produced a legacy of teams that won and lost against the odds, with their colourful paint schemes parading around the F1 circus.
But what were the top 10 best liveries from that era? Let us know your thoughts @F2inside on Twitter by sharing this post. If you have any suggestions on those that may be missing send us a picture when you share the post of that particular car.Â
So, Letâ€™s find out who made the first half of this list in part one.
Now I know what you’re thinking. It could well be considered a boring deep blue and yellow accented design for a car that didnâ€™t achieve much. So, Why is it here?
Well, the simplicity is its beauty, add in its iconic status due to the amount of talent that came through Super Novaâ€™s ranks during the late 90s and early 2000s with stars such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Sebastian Bourdais and Mark Webber all coming through David Sears academy. With all this considered, you have a minimalists dream talent machine on your hands.
However, 2005 was the start of the downturn of this once great team as they could only three wins out of twenty-three races courtesy of the hard-charging Carroll, whilst F1 returnee Pantano was winless as the team finished eighty-five points behind champions ART Grand Prix in third.
You frankly wouldn’t see cars with such a simple and elegant design these days.
Number 9 PREMA Motorsport, Gasly 2016
At number nine itâ€™s one of half Premaâ€™s 2016 liveries, with myself selecting Pierre Gaslyâ€™s side of the garage for number nine on this list.
This car which had an identical livery to that yearâ€™s Red Bull RB12, was fast and sleek right from the word go as Gasly and teammate Antonio Giovinazzi battled for the GP2 championship. Although many of us are now used to the RedBull design and many want to see them branch out, it can not be argued that it is a truly iconic design and branding such as the McLarens of the past in F1. So to see it in GP2 was a treat for us fans.
The livery also gets bonus points due to the fact that Gasly took the crown that season by eight points, in a season where he took four race wins and was frequently linked to Daniil Kvyatâ€™s Toro Rosso seat as early as that seasonâ€™s Singapore Grand Prix although that was denied by Red Bull.
It was also the start of a two-year run where PREMA ruled the GP2/F2 roost as the team won its first constructorsâ€™ championship in its maiden season of competing in the premier junior racing championship.
Number 8 Racing Engineering 2008
At number eight itâ€™s Racing Engineeringâ€™s 2008 design used by that seasonâ€™s champion Giorgio Pantano and Javier Villa.
This livery screams corporate Spain as Telefonica and Repsol had their logos splashed all over the car giving it a three-dimensional blend of blue, orange and red.
For many, the livery will be seen as an eyesore due to the variety of colours on display but for me, itâ€™s a good balance of colour and sponsors logos to create a livery which has aged beautifully as the years have gone by and liveries become blander.
As for the cars on-track performance, Pantano took the championship with four race wins before wrapping the championship at Monza beating Bruno Senna by twelve points, however, the team only finished fourth in the constructorâ€™s championship as Villa could only manage a best finish of fifth in Germany.
Number 7 Durango, 2008
The number 7 slot on this list goes to Durangoâ€™s 2008 entry which was used by now F2 co-commentator and GP2â€™s 2012 champion Davide Valsecchi, along with Marcello Puglisi, Ben Hanley and Alberto Valerio who was Valsecchiâ€™s teammate.
Throughout Durangoâ€™s life in the premier junior category, the Italian teamâ€™s liveries were never boring with the classic combination of blue and white, resembling the mild seven Renaults which dominated F1 in the mid-2000s.
As for this particular entry, Durango finished a disappointing eleventh in the constructorâ€™s championship with Valsecchi scoring all eleven points in an injury-riddled season which saw him miss two rounds with a mild concussion and spinal injury following a crash in Turkey, however, he was back at Silverstone and ended the season with a win at the last race of the season at Monza.
Durango completed only one more year in GP2 before bowing out in 2009 due to financial issues, however, they rumoured to enter Formula One in 2011 however the FIA rejected the teamâ€™s applications.
Number 6 Hilmer Motorsport 2013
At six is Hilmer Motorsportâ€™s 2013 entry which was driven by Robin Frijns, Conor Daly, Adrian Quaife Hobbs, Pal Varhaug and Jon Lancaster.
Although this car was used by a slew of drivers, the livery had an element of personalisation with the number 22 and 23 splashed all over the carâ€™s radiators whilst the teamâ€™s blue and orange livery blended well with the carousel of driverâ€™s sponsorship deals.
On the track, Hilmer had a good debut season in 2013 with Lancaster taking two victories including an emotional home win at Silverstone in the sprint race, whilst Frijns and Quaife-Hobbs took a win apiece as the teamâ€™s drive line up resembled musical chairs due to various issues.
That was as good as it got for Hilmer as the team never won a GP2 race again, with the team bowing out of the series in 2015.
We would love to get your opinion on this count down, let us know what you think of the list and if you think there are any you want to see on here.Â
Ensure you check our page and follow us on Twitter account @F2inside to see all of our latest posts and when the top five will be announced!Â _
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