GP2 team Trident Racing announced today that they will be entering the GP3 series in place of Addax, with whom they have made an agreement. The Italian team have had a successful GP2 career, and are hoping to expand themselves into the category’s junior series. Meanwhile Addax will be focusing on GP2, having become team champions this season.
Trident began participating in GP2 in 2006. Their seasons have been up-and-down, picking up four wins before they got any other podium finishes, but never with any consistency. This is never more dramatically shown than in the Monaco sprint of 2008, when Mike Conway and Ho-Pin Tung scored a Trident 1-2. It was Ho-Pin Tung’s second and last points score of the season – the first coming in the feature race where he finished seventh. Conway also had only a handful of points finishes.
This year, Trident racing have been Rodolfo Gonzalez and GP3 graduate Stefano Coletti. And the Monegasque driver did them proud, picking up points throughout the season. This included two sprint race wins, coming back from 21st in Hungary due to clever tactics. Unfortunately his teammate has failed to score points, and Coletti was injured at Spa. He was replaced by compatriot Stephane Richelmi at Monza, but should return next season.
Addax’s GP2 success has been phenomenal. Founded in 2005 as Campos Racing, their first two seasons were not impressive. But in 2007 they finished third in the driver’s championship with Vitaly Petrov and Giorgio Pantano. The name change came in 2008, and since then the team has been champion twice and runner-up twice. They have successfully brought two GP2 runner-ups into F1 (Petrov and Perez) and also did a good job with Grosjean in 2009 before he joined Renault.
This season, both Charles Pic and Giedo van der Garde have had strong seasons for Addax, and both would have deserved to be runner-up or third-placed. Despite being beaten by Bianchi and Filippi in the final rounds, they still won the team their championship.
In GP3, they haven’t had the same success, finishing eighth both years. They had a couple of podiums in 2010, and two more this year with Dean Smith.
I hope the switchover goes well, and that Trident have a successful time in GP3. As for Addax, expect another strong GP2 season for 2012.