GP2 drivers celebrate! Today two of you have birthdays. DAMS driver and Renault man Romain Grosjean is 25, while Rapax’s Fabio Liemer is 22.
Romain Grosjean is the only current GP2 driver who has also driven in Formula One races, having previously been Renault’s test driver and taking over in 2009 after Nelson Piquet Jr left the team. He began his career in Formula Renault, and his skill got him into the Renault Driver Development programme. This gave him a lot of help. In 2007 he began driving in the inaugural season of GP2 Asia with ART Grand Prix, which he won with four wins and 61 points. In 2008, he joined the main series and partnered Luca Filippi and Sakon Yamamoto. He had two wins and four podiums, finishing fourth overall.
Though he missed out on the next GP2 Asia due to being sidelined by ART, he found a place at Barwa Addax. He only participated in half the 2009 season for reasons already given, but he still finished fourth having won two of the first three races and coming second in the other. After his brief F1 stint, Renault replaced him with Vitaly Petrov – a good move, as it turned out – and the Frenchman returned to GP2 in the second half of the season. With no wins and two third-place finishes, he came 14th.
This season, he has already become the first person to win multiple GP2 Asia championships, though it was a dramatically shortened season with only four races. He is driving for DAMS, and is second in line behind Bruno Senna should any driver in Lotus Renault GP need replacing. Being a good driver, he should hopefully be able to do well in the 2011 GP2 season. He is definitely someone I’d tip to compete for the championship.
Fabio Liemer hasn’t been in GP2 quite as long as Grosjean. His first experience was in the 2009-10 GP2 Asia series, where he came 31st. But in 2010 he managed to win the Sprint race in Barcelona. In this year’s GP2 Asia, he came fifth. This included a second-place finish in Italy. He drives for Rapax, and will be in the number one car in the main series.
Swiss Liemer settled at the back of several series before finding his feet in 2008 with International Formula Master. He came second that year, and first the year after – both with Jenzer Motorsport. He’s got talent in there, and this GP2 season should show what he’s got.