The GP2 Series and GP2 Asia Series will be merged from next season, series organisers have announced.
The move comes after the 2011 GP2 Asia Series included for the first time the same 13 teams as the main category. Also, with the Asia Series marking the debut of the new GP2/11 car, the majority of the drivers were the same in both series as drivers looked to gain experience of the new car.
The merger will create a longer GP2 Series season with rounds in Europe and overseas.
“In 2011, almost eighty-five percent of the drivers who did the Asia Series this season are taking part of the European Series as we are using the GP2/11 car in both categories,” said CEO Bruno Michel.
“This year also marked the fact that for the first time the same thirteen teams entered both Series. We talked to them and we decided that it was logical to have one single Series from 2012.
“The merger will definitely help drivers gain even more experience on Formula One circuits throughout the world and will make the Series even more attractive and competitive. We will announce the 2012 calendar and the number of rounds at a later date.”
With the series having already planned a return to Abu Dhabi in November in support of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, this will now become a single race event called the 2011 GP2 Final. The teams will compete for a prize fund, with the aim of giving young drivers a taste of the third generation car.
“We had planned to go back to Abu Dhabi in November since the beginning of this year,” said Michel. “Yas Marina is a great track. So we decided that we would have one single race event called The 2011 GP2 Final there.
“It will be a fantastic opportunity for drivers who wish to do GP2 Series next year to try and have their first taste of the category in race conditions. It will also be a fantastic occasion for our teams to try new drivers and start working with them.”