The GP2 Series was launched in 2005 as the feeder series to Formula One, and in 2016, 10 of the current 22 F1 drivers have previously proved their worth in GP2. In fact, more than 70 drivers who have raced in GP2 have gone on to drive an F1 car.
Since that first season drivers have graduated from GP2 to F1 every year, including inaugural champion Nico Rosberg and recent F1 recruit Jolyon Palmer. A total of five GP2 champions will race in F1 this season.
The series provides the best young drivers in the world with a unique opportunity to showcase their talents in front of F1's team bosses, with all 11 rounds run on the same weekends as Formula One grands prix. The series benefits from close ties to world motorsport's governing body, the FIA, and uses tyres from Pirelli – the sole supplier to F1.
The 2015 GP2/11 car that Alex will use this season features a V8, four-litre naturally aspirated Mecachrome engine that produces 612 horsepower and 10,000rpm. Torque is 500Nm at 8,000rpm. The car can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 2.9 seconds, and from 0-200km/h in 6.6s.
The monocoque, built by famed Italian firm Dallara, features a survival cell with a carbon/aluminium honeycomb structure. The front and rear wings are carbon-based while the bodywork contains carbon/Kevlar honeycomb structures.
On top of that there is a six-speed longitudinal Hewland sequential gearbox with paddle shift and an AP Carbon clutch. There is a double steel wishbones, pushrod operated, twin dampers and torsion bars suspension and spring suspension, with adjustable ride height and anti-roll bar front and rear. The car is 5065mm long, 1800mm wide, with a height of 1072mm and a 3120mm wheelbase. There is a 688kg weight limit with the driver on board.
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The DAMS racing team was founded in 1988 by Jean Paul Driot and former F1 driver René Arnoux and is based in Ruaudin, just a few kilometres from the legendary Le Mans circuit in France.
In 2014 DAMS won both the GP2 drivers' title with Briton Jolyon Palmer as well as the manufacturers' crown. This year Alex Lynn will partner Nicholas Latifi in the team.
DAMS has also taken Romain Grosjean and Davide Valsecchi to the GP2 title in 2011 and 2012 respectively, and over 25 years has also enjoyed championship success in F3000, Formula Renault V6, Formula Renault 3.5 and A1GP, as well as competing at the Le Mans 24 Hours.
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Alex Lynn joined the legendary Williams F1 team as a development driver in 2015 and will continue for the 2016 season. The British team was founded in 1977 by Sir Frank Williams and Patrick Head, and began manufacturing its own cars the year after.
Clay Regazzoni scored Williams' first grand prix win in 1979 on home soil at Silverstone, and at the 1997 British race Jacques Villeneuve took the team's 100th GP victory – making it just one of three teams alongside Ferrari and McLaren to win 100 races. Between 1980 and 1997 Williams also won nine constructors' championships.
Its list of champion drivers includes Alan Jones, Keke Rosberg, Nelson Piquet, Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve, with other notable drivers including Ayrton Senna and Jenson Button.
The Grove-based team announced a new engine deal with Mercedes in 2013 and a multi-year sponsorship deal with Martini in 2014, when it enjoyed an upturn in its fortunes with Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas helping it to third place in the constructors' championship, a result repeated a year later.
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