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Sunday, 9 October 2016

Why are support races important?

Junior categories are normally over looked by most people as it doesn't use the most up to date technology and the biggest names around. However, in my opinion it makes it that much more interesting. GP2 and GP3 have really grown on me over the last few years. I find it so thrilling for so many reasons!

The main reason I enjoy watching is it because since the cars aren't as technologically advanced as an F1 car you get to see much more of the driver and their own driver style and their raw talent. Especially when you see them go from GP3 to GP2 and how they cope with that step. GP2 is more advanced as they have the feature race in which they must pit and change tyres. So they have to look after the tyres much more than in GP3 and they don't have any mandatory pit stops. Also, any overtakes in GP3 are earned by merit as they don't currently have DRS, although I am aware that is changing for next season. These things allow you to see the potential that drivers have. Furthermore, F1 teams look at GP2 and GP3 to see if there is anyone they want to invest in to maybe drive for them in the future.

For example, in GP3 Jack Aitken is part of the Renault Sport Academy this year. This is an amazing opportunity for him as the team are not only watching but working with him and encouraging him. It may have even affected Jack's performance and given him that bit more confidence in his ability as a team has recognised his skill. Jack has sure delivered recently with podiums and race wins! Not sure Renault will be letting him go anywhere soon.

Going to GP2 the main driver that is backed by a team is Pierre Gasly who is backed by Red Bull. Pierre has worked with Red Bull for a while and he knows this year is vital for him. He knows there is a seat waiting for him in Toro Rosso and then maybe Red Bull one day. It is all riding on how he does this year and he has impressed. He has had some bad luck, but he has always tried his hardest and got the best out of his car. And you can't say his Prema car has been bad either because both Pierre and his team mate Antonio Giovinazzi have been mighty quick in their Prema's. Gasly has shown he is good enough to be in Toro Rosso, it is just down to the team. Whatever happens he can hold his head up high and know he has done the best he can and he has delivered!

Touching on Pierre's team mate, Antonio came into GP2 this year as a rookie with the new team Prema, no one expected him to do as well as he has! Currently leading the championship. I don't think anyone expected that. Not surprisingly that in september, Ferrari announced he was doing work on the simulator for them. Antonio shows that you do not need backing from a big team early on. That in a good car with the talent that Antonio has shown, you will be noticed b a F1 team.

All three drivers I have mentioned have worked hard to get where they are now and get noticed. F1 teams don't just notice anyone. My point is, junior categories are a good way to get an idea of how hard it actually is to get into F1 in the first place. It gives the audience a chance to see someone who they may later support work their way up to their dream. It is very easy to criticise some drivers in F1, but watching junior categories shows they get their own merit. Yes backing helps them, but it is ultimately the teams choice who they pick for their line up and they pick the drivers they believe in the most. Therefore, I believe support races are so important and race weekends are more exciting with support races.

Lets hope Jack, Pierre and Antonio get where they want and should t be as they are incredibly talented drivers who all deserve to be in F1 one day fighting for points and possibly even championships!

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