Marlon Stockinger – 27
Marlon is a bit of an unlucky driver. He’s usually one of the first to retire – which means he goes out in the first lap – but when he does stay in the race he finishes midfield. In the British Grand Prix, he had 30s added to his race time demoting him from 9th to 16th after he ignored waved yellow flags – although to be fair that was a serious offence.
Best qualifying: 17
Worst qualifing: 30
Best finish: 12 (Hungaroring feature)
Worst finish: 26 (Barcelona feature)
Ivan Lukashevich – 26
Russian Ivan partners Alex Sims and Antonio Felix da Costa at Status GP, and the trio seem to get on well if their Twitter interation is anything to go by. Lukashevich is not doing as well as his teammates, but he is slowly getting there. So far his results do not display consistency: he might finish 14th in the feature race then nearly last in the sprint. However, an 11th place finish in the Nurburgring feature was enough to get him 26th in the championship.
Best qualifying: 12
Worst qualifing: 24
Best finish: 11 (Nurburgring feature)
Worst finish: 28 (Hungaroring feature)
It’s been a nice break from birthdays. The first two in May are Vittorio Ghirelli, an Italian GP3 driver for Jenzer Motorsport, and Ivan Lukashevich, a Russian GP3 driver for Status Grand Prix.
Only 17 years old, Vittorio’s already in his second season of the series, though last year he finished 34th with 0 points and his best finish was 15th. That was for Atech CRS GP. He was also struck down with two DNS and two retirements. He also took part in Italian F3 and a couple of FR 2.0 Italy races. In Karting he did better, having won the Italian Open Masters in 2009.
Vittorio’s young age suggests he has plenty of time left to improve, and another full season of GP3 should help him. He has the help of his dad Fabio taking care of management, as well as a couple of mechanics to help out, but he has had to be careful and manage his time between school and racing. Like every driver, his goal is GP2 and Formula One. His website is confusing, being in Italian, but if you can get Google to translate it then it provides some interesting information as well as photos and videos. Of all the GP3 drivers in the last weekend, unfortunately he did the worst, and goes into the rest of the year from the bottom of the table.
20-year-old Ivan drives for Status despite being part of the Marussia Motors driver development programme (so maybe he’ll end up driving for Virgin one day). After karting he moved into Formula Ford for 2006. He finished 12th, then moved into Formula Palmer Audi for 2007 and 2008. Though he had no wins, he had 2 fastest laps and 2 podiums in 2008, finishing 10th.
Sponsorship problems kept Ivan out of F1 for 2009, but in 2010 Status picked him up for GP3. He completed the entire season for the team, gaining no points and finishing 13th in his best race. But he returns to the team hopeful for the 2011 season. Ivan stands 16th with no points in the GP3 drivers’ championship, but has had finished both race with a best finish of 14th.
The final drivers are beginning to be confirmed for GP2 and GP3. In the GP3 newsletter today all but one driver had been confirmed.
At Status Grand Prix, Ivan Lukashevich is retained for another year. The 19-year-old Russian who turns 20 in about a week is sponsored by Marussia Motors, which is especially confusing because Marussia also sponsor Manor Motorsport.
The two gaps at Addax have been filled by Dominic Storey as expected, and British driver Dean Smith. Dean drove for Carlin last season, and had soon good results allowing him a 7th place finish. He was on the podium once, and hopefully should do even better this year!
British driver Luciano Bacheta has joined RSC Mucke for 2011. He finished 2nd last year in the FR 2.0 Eurocup. He wins the award for the ‘least Britsh name for a British driver’ award, which naturally he has taken from Dario Franchitti. He replaces Willi Steindl, who was originally signed up for car 29.
While Carlin still has a TBC, it’s expected to be filled by Leonardo Cordeiro as I said before.
In GP2, Davide Rigon returns after a year away, changing from Trident to Coloni – the Italian team lost their driver James Jakes to IndyCar, having run him for one race in GP2 Asia. Jakes stands at 22nd in the current IndyCar season.
For more information on who is likely to take which place in the GP2 teams, see my last post.