Prema

Prema Powerteam

Founded: 1983 in Grisignano di Zocco (Italy)
Website: www.premapowerteam.com
Twitter: @premapowerteam
Facebook: prema.powerteam

GP2 Series statistics

Seasons entered: 2
Races entered: 44
Races started: 44
Podiums: 32
Fastest laps: 11
Best qualifying result: 1st (x15)
Best feature race result: 1st (x13)
Best sprint race result: 1st (x4)
Best championship position: 1st (2016)
Points: 810

Season-by-season

2016

Dallara GP2-11 - Left Side

Races entered: 22
Races started: 22
Podiums: 17
Fastest laps: 6
Best qualifying result: 1st (x7)
Best feature race result: 1st (x7)
Best sprint race result: 1st (x2)
Championship position: 1st
Points: 430

Prema took over Lazarus’ entry at the end of 2015 and signed Red Bull young driver Pierre Gasly and promising rookie Antonio Giovinazzi. The Frenchman started the season with a pole position and a double podium, whereas the Italian took some time to acclimatise to the new Series. At the third round, he surprised everyone by taking a double win on a new track, Baku. That gave Gasly the push he needed and he ended his long wait for a win two weekends later at Silverstone, soon becoming his team mate’s strongest title rival. While Giovinazzi won five races to Gasly’s four, two of them were lower-scoring sprint wins, and Gasly’s upper hand in qualifying gave extra points to the Frenchman, who came out on top of a close contest, the pair separated by eight points at the end of the season.

The immediate success of Prema in their new adventure in GP2, winning the teams’ title and having its drivers finish one-two in the drivers’ championship, was a surprise but also the result of a determined approach to the new adventure. Key signings from the rival top teams and the promotion of staff from their other successful ventures such as their F3 squad helped the team overcome difficult pre-season testing and face problems which were new for them quickly, making them unbeatable in the second part of the season.

2017

2017 Prema

Races entered: 22
Races started: 22
Podiums: 15
Fastest laps: 5
Best qualifying result: 1st (x8)
Best feature race result: 1st (x6)
Best sprint race result: 1st (x2)
Championship position: 2nd
Points: 380

After signing a rookie and an experienced driver for their maiden campaign, Prema tried the risky move to compete with two rookies. Both Charles Leclerc and Antonio Fuoco had been successful in GP3, finishing first and third in the championship. The livery changed drastically as well due to their drivers being part of the Ferrari Driver Academy.

While they didn’t finish at the top in pre-season testing, they showed an extremely convincing pace in Bahrain right at the beginning of the year. Leclerc took pole position by 8 tenths in his very first F2 qualifying, finished third in his first race and phenomenally won the sprint race. This achievement was extraordinary as the Monegasque pitted and overtook 13 cars in only 9 laps to secure his victory.

He also dominated in Barcelona, which raised his hopes of winning his home race in the Principality of Monaco. While Leclerc already led the drivers’ championship by 26 points, Prema’s second driver Fuoco had a tally of only 2 points.

Although Leclerc couldn’t score in his home races, this one-man show continued: In Baku, Spielberg and Silverstone, the Monegasque grabbed the pole position and won the feature race and hence scored more points in these three weekends than Fuoco did throughout the whole season. Nonetheless, the Italian scored a first podium in Austria.

After a rather weak weekend in Hungary, Leclerc scored another stellar win before being disqualified due to excessive wear to the underfloor plank; Fuoco inherited P3.

In a chaotic Monza feature race, Leclerc fought for the lead of the race but eventually crashed into the barriers. Fuoco originally finished second but as his countryman Ghiotto was handed a 5-second time penalty for cutting the track, the Italian won his first F2 race at home.

It didn’t surprise anyone when Leclerc finally lifted the trophy for the title in Jerez, one round before the season ended, by winning a chaotic feature race.

At the last feature race in Abu Dhabi, Leclerc was so slow out of the final corner that he lost his podium position to his teammate. He later confirmed that Prema told him to support Fuoco, who still had chances of finishing 6th in the championship and 2nd in the unofficial rookie rankings. Hours after the race had ended, all this strategy turned out to be useless as Fuoco was disqualified. According to the race stewards, the Italian’s front tyres were below the minimum tyre pressure.

To round this perfect season off, Leclerc also won his very last F2 race by showing another outstanding performance on Sunday, finishing his rookie season with 8 poles, 7 wins 72 points more than runner-up Markelov. Prema, however, couldn’t secure the teams’ title, as Fuoco turned out not to be consistent enough.

Because of his superb performances, he already tested several times for Sauber in 2017 and will race for them in 2018. Fuoco however had problems to find another top team and eventually got signed by Charouz, a new F2 team in 2018.

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