FIA plans to resurrect Formula Two
|By Simon Strang||Wednesday, June 25th 2008, 12:44 GMT|
The FIA has announced a shock decision to resurrect the Formula Two name from 2009 as an 'inexpensive' platform for aspiring driver talent as a stepping stone for Formula One.
In a statement following Wednesday's FIA World Council meeting in Paris, the sport's governing body has invited tenders for the new low-cost feeder series.
The statement read: "The FIA will invite tenders for a new feeder series for Formula One. This championship, called Formula Two, would be launched in 2009 and used as an inexpensive platform to develop emerging driver talent for Formula One. It is hoped this can be achieved within a budget of around €200,000 a car per season."
How the FIA hopes to achieve running costs of around €200,000 per car per season remains to be seen. The target figure is significantly lower than it costs to compete in the current traditional ladder series - GP2 Series and F3.
It is not clear if the intention is to run the series as a support race for F1, or even if it is being introduced as a replacement on the bill for GP2, which costs around €1.5m per season to run a car. Or indeed, whether it would co-exist alongside the second-string category that replaced F3000 in 2004.
One current GP2 team boss told autosport.com: "Our cars actually cost €190,000, and that's without the engines. If it's a junior formula, like Formula Ford or something, then fine, but you cannot run anything substantial for that kind of money. For example, a Formula BMW costs just under €300,000 to run per car in Europe, and that's with zero margin.
"I can't think what cars they expect to run for €200,000, because there are people spending that kind of money in karting in Europe."
The use of the name F2 could be seen as a clear provocation against Bernie Ecclestone, showing that the FIA is willing to set-up their own championships and are ready to go up against a series that is backed by the commercial rights holder, and is partly financed by CVC.