x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Unification of GP2 was a 'logical' move for the two series

Decision follows GP2 series and the GP2 Asia championship coexisting for four years together.

ABU DHABI // It will mark the end of an era on Friday when the first cars take to the track at Yas Marina Circuit for the GP2 Final.

After four seasons of coexisting, the GP2 series and the GP2 Asia championship are unifying at the end of the year and will have races across the globe - rather than being European-based, as the main series previously was.

This weekend's action, which sees a feature race on Saturday of 31 laps and a sprint race on Sunday of 22 laps, has been set up as a chance for teams to try out new drivers ahead of next year's change.

Bruno Michel, the chief executive of GP2, believes the move to one series makes it more economically viable; some teams previously competing in both series.

"This year marked the fact that for the first time the same 13 teams entered both series," he said. "We talked to them and we decided it was logical to have one single series from 2012."

Romain Grosjean, the 2011 GP2 champion, is not in action this weekend; he is driving a Renault in Friday's Formula One practice.

A number of drivers from GP3, the feeder series to GP2, will get their first experience of this series this weekend, including James Calado, who was runner-up in GP3 this season, and Rio Haryanto, the 18-year-old Indonesian.

gcaygill@thenational.ae