GP2 boss dismisses F2 threat

GP2 Series boss Bruno Michel is confident that the recently-launched Formula 2 Championship is not a threat to his category

GP2 boss dismisses F2 threat

The FIA has revived F2 as a lower-cost route to Formula 1, but while GP2 runs on the grand prix support package, most of the F2 dates are at World Touring Car Championship meetings.

Michel believes that this alliance with F1 and the higher performance level of the GP2 cars give his championship a clear advantage over its new rival.

When asked if he saw F2 as a threat, Michel replied: "Absolutely not ... running alongside F1 and the high level of performance of our cars, no category can compete with GP2 as a feeder series to Formula 1.

"In reality, the F2 grid has hurt other categories that usually feed the GP2 Series, but not us. Drivers with 2010 F1 ambitions know that they unquestionably have to compete in GP2 this season and nowhere else.

"Moreover, the fact that some F2 drivers will be given a Superlicense will not make them F1 drivers. For a driver to move into F1, they first have to get noticed by F1 team principals. There is no better place than GP2 to achieve that.

"Our championship is the final step for drivers before Formula 1 whereas F2 will probably become a feeder category for GP2."

Despite the economic downturn, both GP2 and F2 expect to have full fields this year. F2 has filled all 24 places on its grid, and 23 drivers have already secured GP2 seats, with the remaining three deals set to be finalised shortly.

GP2 remains significantly more expensive than F2, but has taken steps to reduce its costs this year. However Michel said that his series would not bill itself as a 'low budget' option.

"We have taken important measures such as mid-season test cancellation, wind tunnel testing interruption, staff limitations and a significant decrease in the cost of some parts - to name a few," he said.

"Between these measures and the fact that 2008 has been an expensive year for our teams [with the introduction of the Asia Series and a new GP2 car], their budget for 2009 should be cut down by 20 per cent overall.

"The GP2 Series remains one the most viable championship that exists. The cost control that we put in place since its inception has been efficient and successful.

"However, putting things into perspectives, although it cannot be considered as a low-priced series, one must not forget that our car is an extremely complex and competitive machine."

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