Antonio Giovinazzi competed in GP2 for 2016, finishing second that year to Pierre Gasly. He made his F1 debut with Sauber at the start of 2017, driving the Australian and Chinese Grands Prix in place of the injured Pascal Wehrlein, before the announcement came that Giovinazzi would drive for Sauber in 2019. Along with Charles Leclerc and Lance Stroll, Giovinazzi is also a graduate of the Ferrari Driver Academy.
The man making way for Kimi Raikkonen at Sauber next year, Marcus Ericsson spent four seasons in GP2 from 2010-2013, netting three wins in his time for Super Nova Racing, iSport International and DAMS. His F1 debut with Caterham followed in 2014, before spending four seasons with Sauber. He’ll be the Swiss team’s third driver in 2019.
Stoffel Vandoorne was second to Jolyon Palmer in his rookie GP2 season in 2014, before going one better in 2015 with a spectacular run to that year’s title. His race debut with McLaren followed in 2016 – but despite having once been one of F1’s most hotly-tipped rookies, McLaren recently announced that they would replace Vandoorne with Lando Norris for 2019.
Sergey Sirotkin was a proven race-winner in his two GP2 seasons in 2015 and 2016, with the Russian finishing third in the championship in both years. After a year as Renault’s test driver in 2017, Sirotkin took over the retiring Felipe Massa’s seat at Williams for 2018.
Set to debut for McLaren in 2019, Norris is currently second in the Formula 2 standings, behind Mercedes junior driver George Russell, with the young Brit having graduated to the series after winning the European Formula 3 title in 2016.
Entering GP2 at the tail-end of the 2014 season, Pierre Gasly stepped up to a full year in 2015 with DAMS but only managed to finish eighth. Knowing he needed to up his game to keep his F1 dream alive, Gasly regrouped to take the 2016 GP2 title. A full season in Japan’s Super Formula series followed, before Gasly replaced Daniil Kvyat at Toro Rosso for five of the last six races of the 2017 season, moving into a full-time race seat for 2018. For 2019, he’ll join Max Verstappen at Red Bull.
Nico Hulkenberg had a storming run to the 2009 GP2 championship, claiming five victories to win ahead of nearest rivals Vitaly Petrov and Lucas Di Grassi. The performance led to the German getting a ride with Williams for 2010, with Hulkenberg sensationally putting his car on pole for that year’s Brazilian Grand Prix.
Following GP2’s rechristening as Formula 2, Charles Leclerc became the series’ first champion, taking seven wins to beat Artem Markelov to the title. After making his F1 debut this year with Sauber, for 2019, Leclerc will move to one of the hottest seats on the grid, driving for Ferrari alongside Sebastian Vettel.
Romain Grosjean competed in GP2 in 2008 and 2009, before getting the nod to drive for Renault in F1, in place if Nelson Piquet Jnr, midway through the 2009 season. When he was then dropped at the end of the year, Grosjean considered moving to Paris to become a chef, before he was handed a lifeline by DAMS. He drove half of the 2010 GP2 season for the team, before embarking on a full campaign in 2011, becoming champion that year and securing his return to F1 in the process.
Sergio Perez graduated from British Formula 3 to GP2 in 2009. He was a lowly 12th in his first season with Arden, before a switch to the Barwa Addax Team for 2010 saw Perez finish second to Pastor Maldonado in the championship. The performance led to the Mexican getting a call-up for Sauber for 2011, alongside Kamui Kobayashi.
Lewis Hamilton moved to GP2 for 2006 as the reigning champion in European F3. He’d go on to take that year’s crown, netting five wins to claim the title ahead of Nelson Piquet Jnr, with his ART team mate Alexandre Premat a distant third. Hamilton’s F1 debut with McLaren followed the year after – and the rest is history...