GP2 teams will face new challenges in learning to get the most out of the third-generation car that will race from 2011, according to series technical director Didier Perrin.
The GP2/11, which was revealed to the teams and media for the first time at Monza yesterday evening, takes several obvious aerodynamic cues from the current generation of F1 cars, but Perrin said that the enlarged diffuser will have a particularly big impact on setup.
"What is clear is that the diffuser is not only giving more performance than on the previous car, but it is giving this performance across a wider range of ride height," Perrin told AUTOSPORT. "So it will be interesting, because the teams will have the possibility to completely revise the way they set the car up next year. They won't have to start with a completely clean sheet of paper, but they will have to rethink their philosophy in terms of mechanical setup.
"As the diffuser works across a much wider ride height range, there will be the possibility to play with much softer rear suspension to improve the traction."
The series has always placed a premium on incorporating as many links to Formula 1 cars as possible, an approach that is reflected in the smaller rear wing, larger front wing and raked nose of the 2011 GP2 car.
"The first thing we wanted was to be as close as possible to F1 in terms of behavior so we decided to use the same type of rear wing – narrower, and a bit forward," Perrin said. "So we have lost a lot of downforce from the rear of the car, and to recover that we had to do a lot of work on the diffuser. And to get more room to play with the diffuser, we moved the exhaust on top of the gearbox. So that gives you the configuration of the rear of the car. And to balance this big downforce that we obtained from the diffuser we had to go with a large, F1-style wing."
Testing with the new car is continuing, with the next outing scheduled for Jerez with 2008 series champion Giorgio Pantano at the wheel.