Some thought it a sign of malaise that the top four GP2 drivers had collectively accumulated 14 full seasons at this level by the campaign's end, but it could also be perceived as strength in depth.
Either way, Formula 1's recognised ante-chamber was its customarily combustible self in 2012, with a cocktail of wonderful racing and clueless optimism that created queues several miles long outside the stewards' room door.
Some feel that veteran (well, he's 25) Davide Valsecchi should have moved on before now, but it's not widely known that he created quite an impression when he tested Astromega F3000 cars as a teenager. At the time, the Belgian team thought he'd shown similar flair to another raw youngster the squad had run in 2000 - a kid by the name of Fernando Alonso.
It's probably now too late for Valsecchi to morph into such a star, but there is more to his success than longevity.
It took Pastor Maldonado four attempts to win the GP2 title and everyone now considers him to be mustard (or, at least, well-heeled, erratic mustard) - and he was always with strong teams, which Valsecchi conspicuously wasn't during his first two seasons.
Valsecchi used all his experience and was a constant presence at the front © LAT
It would help the sport enormously if there weren't two almost-parallel Renault-powered championships in F1's slipstream. If you pitched the top 12 Formula Renault 3.5 drivers against their counterparts in GP2, you'd instantly create the world's most competitive feeder series and the champion would rightly be lauded.
As it is, Valsecchi had accumulated a reasonable slice of an F1 budget by the end of the season, but didn't know whether or where he'd be able to spend it.
HOW IT WAS WON
Valsecchi began his fifth GP2 campaign with pole position in Malaysia and sealed the title with third place in the Singapore feature race. One day later, his fifth place helped DAMS clinch the championship for teams.
Between times, he scored four race victories - three of them in Bahrain, where GP2 Asia experience helped - and was rarely anything other than fast.
Even at Silverstone, where he was sent to the back of the feature grid for not having enough fuel in his tank post-qualifying, he came away with strong points finishes. There was a brief mid-season slump, but he was quick when it most mattered.
Luiz Razia won the opening race, added three sprint victories to his tally and led the points table for most of the summer, but his hitherto unerring consistency failed him in the penultimate meeting at Monza - where he crashed out of the first race, the trigger for his only pointless weekend of the year - and Valsecchi seized the initiative.
Lotus GP team-mates James Calado and Esteban Gutierrez were title outsiders for much of the year. The Englishman's relative inexperience never showed: the GP3 graduate took two feature race poles (the same as Valsecchi and two more than Razia), but his victories were both in sprints.
That was down to some outrageous bad luck (a dreadful pit call by the team in Valencia, gearbox failure at Silverstone) and his mostly stellar year petered out fairly quietly, with a poor set-up at Monza and a nasty bout of food poisoning in Singapore.
Chilton showed a marked improvement on past seasons © LAT
Calado, on balance, although the top two played their part in a title duel that blended fierce competition with mutual respect.
Max Chilton came on in leaps and bounds - and was prepared to make bold tyre calls, sacrificing his chances in Sunday sprints to optimise his prospects in feature races. That worked beautifully in Hungary and Singapore.
And Jolyon Palmer proved he was much more than simply the son of a well-known father. He was unlucky early on, when his car kept melting, but was habitually quick - and a feisty overtaker.
SOMETHING TO REMEMBER
The final few minutes of the Valencia sprint. Razia saved his tyres from the start and went from fifth to third on the penultimate lap, then third to first a few corners from home, passing Calado and Fabio Leimer as their lead tussle carried them beyond the circuit boundaries.
If this was to be the Spanish street circuit's swansong, there could have been no finer farewell.
SOMETHING TO FORGET
It was an eventful year for Gonzalez © LAT
The standard of driving at the back of the field - and, sometimes, a little farther up (yes, Rodolfo Gonzalez, this means you) - and the Friday morning Silverstone traffic, which almost caused several GP2 drivers to miss free practice.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
The incorporation of GP2 Asia within the main GP2 Series gave the calendar a cosmopolitan, balanced feel - but there's still no excuse for racing in Bahrain twice. The second meeting, the only one of the year not to support a grand prix, attracted about 17 spectators.
More of the same, but without Coloni: the Italian team is leaving the series following a dispute with the organisers, a matter all parties were reluctant to discuss on the record.
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