The 2009 GP2 season review
Despite a shaky start to the year, Nico Hulkenberg became the man to beat in this year's GP2 championship and earned a promotion to F1 next season. Mark Glendenning looks at how the German made his way to the top
For GP2, 2009 was the year of the establishment. A lack of opportunities in Formula 1 had prompted a lot of drivers back for their third and fourth cracks at the title, while sophomore Romain Grosjean was a long-term Renault development project reaching maturity.
It was a hostile environment to throw a rookie into, yet when the dust settled it was new arrival Nico Hulkenberg standing on top of the pile. True, Grosjean had departed the series mid-season to replace Nelson Piquet in F1, but even if the Swiss driver had stuck around, Hulkenberg would have emerged triumphant. After a slightly shaky start he'd started to get on terms with the car at Silverstone, and when he wheeled out clean sweep of pole and two wins in Germany, he reset the bar at a level that no-one was able to match.
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