As exclusively predicted here back in January, the FIA has now confirmed that GP2 is no longer and that it will henceforth be called Formula 2. This will complete the FIA plan to create an easily-recognisable structure for the sport with youngsters starting out in Formula 4, moving to Formula 3 at international level, then Formula 2 and finally F1.
Completing this process with Formula One Group and bringing FIA Formula 2 to life is a very important step.,” said Jean Todt. “The championship will provide the final level for junior drivers who are looking to reach the ultimate goal of Formula 1, and we have achieved a key target for the FIA in completing our single-seater pyramid.
In recent years we have developed a hugely successful programme of FIA Formula 4 championships in 12 countries around the world, the FIA F3 European Championship has become very strong and competitive, and now we have this final piece of the puzzle. I am also very pleased to see that we are already working in the same direction as Formula One Group, and I am sure that this positive relationship will continue to benefit our sport.”
Formula One boss Chase Carey said that the group sees the junior categories as “strategic activities” and was delighted to strengthen them with the new agreement.
There are still a few messy odds and ends, notably GP3 and the Formula V8 3.5 but the passage of time will probably take care of these, if the pricing in the main championships is under control, which was one of the goals set out by the FIA when it announced its desire for F2.
Last year the budget for European Formula 3 Championship was reckoned to be around $800,000 including testing and Macau. However, the amount of track time was impressive compared to GP3, which was estimated to be costing about $700,000, while GP2 last year was around $1.6 million.
The FIA invited bids for F2 back in 2015 with a budget limited to $1 million a year, so it will be interesting to see how much the earnings of the Formula One offshoots, GP2 and GP3 drop in the years ahead.