Robin Frijns to make GP2 race debut in Bahrain with Hilmer

Formula Renault 3.5 champion Robin Frijns will make his GP2 race debut in Bahrain this weekend with Hilmer Motorsport

Robin Frijns to make GP2 race debut in Bahrain with Hilmer

The Sauber Formula 1 reserve driver, who tested with Trident and Russian Time in pre-season, missed out on a drive for the season opener in Malaysia due to a lack of budget.

However, he has landed what is currently a one-off deal with new team Hilmer for this weekend's Bahrain Grand Prix support races.

"I'm happy that I get to race again," Frijns told AUTOSPORT. "To be driving in Bahrain is good news for me.

"The team had a seat free so they called me. At the moment the deal is just for Bahrain.

"It always depends on the money. If I want to do the rest of the season we have to work and we know it."

Frijns admitted that he will have to be realistic with his expectations for his debut in the category, but he is hopeful that he can challenge for points.

"I'm not going to a race weekend to finish at the back," he said. "If you are realistic, everything is new to me in GP2, and it's a new team, so if I can fight for points I will be quite happy.

"I need more time in the car of course, and you only get 30 minutes practice before you are straight into qualifying.

"That is quite harsh but it's the same for everyone. I don't have experience of that, but I just need to learn a lot in the time I have and hopefully we will be OK."

Hilmer scored points on its GP2 debut in Malaysia with Conor Daly, who had a one-off deal for that weekend.

AUTOSPORT says
Glenn Freeman, news editor (@glenn_autosport)

Robin Frijns will experience something he is not used to when he makes his GP2 debut this weekend: going to a race not expecting to fight for victory.

But that's not a huge problem, because those looking on shouldn't expect that of him either.

For a driver who has won significant single-seater championships for the past three of his four seasons of car racing, it will take a bit of mental readjustment to join the GP2 field this weekend on the back foot.

Drivers and their management often have to weigh up the pros and cons in a situation like this. When your CV is glittering with success, how much damage could a drive with a team that is not an out-and-out frontrunner do to your reputation?

This will almost certainly have gone through the minds of those in the Frijns camp. But in this case, taking a GP2 drive with new-for-2013 outfit Hilmer is still likely to be a wise call.

Those who matter will take note of his lack of experience and the level of the team when judging his performances. Plus, rookies are not expected to excel in GP2.

On top of that, he gets to learn more 'Formula 1' tracks, race with Pirelli tyres for the first time, and gets to spend some time with Sauber on a grand prix weekend.

In this case, the pros comfortably outweigh the cons.

shares
comments
Luca Filippi says he rejected offers to race in GP2 in 2013
Previous article

Luca Filippi says he rejected offers to race in GP2 in 2013

Next article

Bahrain GP2: Fabio Leimer dominates practice

Bahrain GP2: Fabio Leimer dominates practice
What the future holds for two Red Bull juniors fighting in the F2 battleground Plus

What the future holds for two Red Bull juniors fighting in the F2 battleground

Despite having two talented drivers, albeit at very different stages of their careers, Prema Racing has had mixed fortunes in FIA Formula 2 this year. Both drivers told Autosport how they rate their seasons so far – and their next steps beyond 2022

FIA F2
Aug 24, 2022
The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause Plus

The problem sausage kerbs continue to cause

Track limits are the problem that motorsport doesn't seem to be able to rid itself of. But the use of so-called 'sausage kerbs' as a deterrent has in several instances only served to worsen the problem, and a growing number of voices want to see action taken

Formula 1
Jul 18, 2022
The on-form F1 protege carrying America's hopes on his shoulders Plus

The on-form F1 protege carrying America's hopes on his shoulders

Two feature race wins in as many rounds have helped Logan Sargeant to emerge as the closest challenger to runaway Formula 2 points leader Felipe Drugovich. The Williams F1 junior couldn't have timed his rise better, with interest in grand prix racing on the rise in his US homeland, and he could be his country's best shot at getting a driver on the grid for the first time since 2015

FIA F2
Jul 16, 2022
What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series Plus

What racing in Australia means for the future of F1's junior series

The announcement that FIA Formula 2 and 3 would race alongside the Australian Grand Prix from 2023 came as a surprise, not only to fans but to the series’ teams too. But with Formula 1’s boom in popularity bringing more fans to the championships, team principals are relishing the opportunity

FIA F2
Jun 28, 2022
The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success Plus

The other Doohan charting his way to motorsport success

Heading into FIA Formula 2 this season, there was a lot of pressure on Jack Doohan. The 2021 F3 runner-up joined a new team for his next challenge, as well as signing up to the Alpine Academy. He told Autosport how he’s tackling the step up - with some help from his motorcycle legend father

FIA F2
Jun 16, 2022
The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier Plus

The Brazilian F2 driver hoping to return his country to motorsport's top tier

With a chaotic but “pretty much perfect” FIA Formula 2 weekend in Saudi Arabia behind him, Felipe Drugovich now leads the drivers’ standings in his third crack at the series. The Brazilian driver explains how he's improved amid some difficult years, and shares his dreams of ending his nation's absence from the F1 grid

FIA F2
Apr 1, 2022
The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2 Plus

The Red Bull junior aiming to emulate Piastri in F2

Norwegian talent Dennis Hauger has a tough act to follow in Oscar Piastri’s footsteps on his graduation to F2 as the reigning F3 champion with Prema. Here’s what he makes of the task ahead of him

FIA F2
Mar 16, 2022
The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022 Plus

The other Mercedes F1 young gun facing a big 2022

With a disappointing 2021 season behind him, Frederik Vesti makes the move up to FIA Formula 2 with a reinvigorated sense of determination. Could this finally be the breakthrough year for the talented Mercedes junior?

FIA F2
Mar 14, 2022