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Organisers of the GP2 Series have confirmed two significant changes in the regulations for the 2012 season. Not only will Prime and Option tyre compounds be introduced for the first tyre, mirroring parent series Formula 1, but GP2 and GP3 will also be adopting the same top ten scoring system for their Saturday Feature Races.
Since 2007, F1 drivers have been required to make use of two different dry tyre compounds over a Grand Prix distance. For next season, GP2 competitors will be presented with the same challenge. However, drivers will be allocated three sets of Prime (harder compound) tyres and only a single set of Options (softer compound), meaning they will be forced to save one set of Primes for Sunday’s Sprint Race. They are then free to decide which of the remaining Prime or Option sets they wish to use over free practice and qualifying on Saturday.
Organisers have also confirmed that compulsory pit-stops – in which at least two tyres must be changed – will remain for Saturday’s longer, Feature Race.
“The new tyre rule offers a fantastic opportunity to the drivers,” says GP2 head Bruno Michel. “Our series’ main goal has always been to prepare them for Formula 1 and so far we have been very successful at it. More than ever, tyre management is key to how quickly young drivers can adapt to the pinnacle of motorsport.”
Also for 2012, GP2 and lower formula GP3 will adopt the latest Formula 1 points system, which was introduced at the start of 2010, for their Saturday races: 25, 18, 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. The top eight finishers are then reversed to determine the starting order for Sunday’s race, in which the scoring system is as follows: 15, 12, 10, 8, 6, 4, 2, 1. Four points will be handed out for Saturday’s qualifying pole position and two bonus points for the fastest lap in each of the races.
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