A new season for the GP3 series brings together the future talent of motorsport, some of which will grace the F1 world in years to come. We have four previous winners of GP3 races racing in 2014 (Robert Visoiu, Patric Niederhauser, Pal Varhaug and Richie Stanaway), as well as highly-rated drivers who were strong in their 2013 campaigns in other series too, including German F3 champion Marvin Kirchhofer and Nissan Academy driver Jann Mardenborough.
It is very difficult to choose just five drivers to watch as GP3 is generally so hard to read, but these five for me could and should be up at the front.
Alex Lynn – Great Britain – Carlin
The Brit comes into the series having finished third in last years European Formula 3 and from having won the Macau Grand Prix. He has also picked up the backing of Red Bull to help guide him through the next stage of his career.
Has been extremely quick throughout pre-season testing, finishing top five in virtually every session. With the confidence of his testing, plus the guidance of Red Bull, he could be the one to beat in 2014.
Richie Stanaway – New Zealand – Status Grand Prix
The Kiwi is beginning a second career in single-seaters after the first one was stopped in its track by a big crash at Spa-Francorchamps that threatened his whole career. Its good to see Stanaway back, and from what it seems during pre-season testing, he has lost none of his speed or ability.
He is also driving for Aston Martin in various events in GT Racing in 2014, and joins a Status Grand Prix line-up that is much stronger to that of last year. Should be challenging for big points, podiums and a second career GP3 win, having won in Spa-Francorchamps back in 2011 for ART.
Nick Yelloly – Great Britain – Status Grand Prix
Now under the guidance of Mark Blundell and his management team, Yelloly can finally concentrate on his driving. Very highly rated within the paddock, it is surprising he has yet to win a GP3 race as he approaches his third season.
Joins Status Grand Prix who had a very disappointing 2013 season, and Yelloly will want to put them back at the front. In an ideal world, this season should see him challenging for wins and the GP3 Series title.
Marvin Kirchhofer – Germany – ART Grand Prix
The German will be beginning only his third season of open-wheel racing yet has won both championships he has competed in to date, the ADAC Formel Masters in 2012 and the German Formula Three championship in 2013.
Joins ART Grand Prix, a team that have won every GP3 Teams’ championship since the series began in 2010, so has one of the best opportunities to keep his amazing run going. Kirchhofer is definitely one of the drivers to watch in 2014.
Dean Stoneman – Great Britain – Marussia Manor Racing
The 2010 Formula Two Champion makes a welcome full-time return to single-seater racing after overcoming cancer. The talented Brit made his GP3 debut in the Abu Dhabi finale last year and took a podium finish, having resumed his career driving in the Porsche Carrera Cup at the beginning of 2013.
Should be challenging for wins with Marussia Manor Racing, the team that took Tio Ellinas close to the 2013 title, and the Southampton-based Brit was quick during pre-season testing.