Reigning GP2 champion Romain Grosjean has tipped his successor at the DAMS team, Davide Valsecchi, to fight for this year's title.
Grosjean believes that Valsecchi, who has taken pole position for tomorrow's opening round of the championship at Sepang, and Lotus ART driver Esteban Gutierrez will be the leading contenders for the title.
"DAMS is in good shape, which is good for them, and Gutierrez will be good as well," he said. "Maybe it will be between those guys."
Grosjean's predecessor as GP2 champion, Pastor Maldonado, also believes that Sauber reserve driver Gutierrez, who will start tomorrow's race from 15th on the grid, will be a leading contender. However, he tipped Caterham's Giedo van der Garde, the highest-placed returnee from last season, to be Gutierrez's main rival.
"Van der Garde and Gutierrez seem to be the two strongest guys," Maldonado said. "They are both experienced and in good teams, so they are going to fight all the way through the season."
The Venezuelan added that consistency could be the deciding factor between the pair thanks to the GP2 race format.
"The more consistent driver will win," said Maldonado. "The important thing is not only to be quick and to win races, it's to be consistent. This is especially important because of the reverse grids in the Sunday race as if you win on Saturday, you start outside the points. Scoring even one or two points in the second race is not easy because it's shorter and it's hard to overtake."