GP2 undecided on format

Organisers of the inaugural GP2 series have proposed a radical race-weekend format that does not include any qualifying sessions. Teams have yet to agree to the proposals, though, and are thought to not favour such a system

GP2 undecided on format

The unique schedule was aired by the organisers as the 12 potential teams of the new series received their contracts for the Renault-backed championship. Under the proposal, teams and drivers will be required to attend the Paul Ricard circuit in France before the season starts to carry out just one qualifying session that will determine grid slots for the first race of the season, which kicks off on April 15 at Magny-Cours.

Thereafter, the starting order will depend on the position the cars finished in the previous race.

Two races will be staged during the weekend - one on Saturday afternoon, featuring mandatory pitstops over a distance of 180km (112 miles), with a second 80km (50 miles) race on Sunday, the grid for race two will reverse the top eight finishers from race one.

Teams are thought to oppose the organiser's proposals and are keen to have qualifying sessions every race weekend. It is believed that the teams have actually been given the choice between two formats regarding the formation of the grid for the first race, either the system proposed by the organisers, or a 30-minute qualifying session taking place on Friday mornings.

It is thought that most teams favour the second option, but a decision has yet to be made and any proposals still have to be approved by the FIA's World Motor Sport Council, which will discuss them at its next meeting on December 10.

Alfonso de Orleans, boss of GP2 aspirant Racing Engineering, has his doubts about the proposed system and its fairness.

"I like the fact that it's something new, but you have to question the safety," he told Autosport magazine. "In European Touring Cars the reverse grid causes a lot of accidents. Also, there should be one qualifying session per weekend. It's not fair that a problem with the car could affect a driver for many races afterwards."

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