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Rediff.com  » Sports » Formula Two to be revived as F1 feeder series

Formula Two to be revived as F1 feeder series

June 26, 2008 14:44 IST

Grand Prix racing's governing body said on Wednesday it planned to revive the defunct Formula Two category as a low-cost feeder series for Formula One from 2009.

Inviting tenders for the series, the International Automobile Federation (FIA) said it would be "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 euros ($311,600) a car per season," the FIA added in a statement after a World Motor Sport Council Meeting in Paris.

Formula Two was the recognised feeder series for Formula One from the early years of the world championship through to the end of 1984, when it was replaced by Formula 3000.

That in turn gave way at the end of 2004 to the Renault-powered GP2 series, set up by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, with races held at Grand Prix weekends in Europe.

The costs in GP2 are well above the FIA budget target, with an estimated 1.5 million euros per car per season the current going rate.

A quarter of the 2008 Formula One grid is made up of GP2 graduates, including the last three champions in Germany's Nico Rosberg (Williams), Britain's Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) and Germany's Timo Glock (Toyota).

"I can't think what cars they expect to run for 200,000 euros because there are people spending that kind of money in karting in Europe," one unidentified GP2 team boss told the autosport.com web site.

The FIA also said it would enter "a wide-ranging consultation" with the Formula One teams to review the governance of the sport as well as technical regulations for the championship and improved efficiency measures.

The governing body said it would consult the 10 teams over an increase in their entrance fees to cover improved safety systems and equipment at Grand Prix weekends.

The agenda for the Wednesday meeting proposed raising the teams' 2009 entry fee to 740,000 euros ($1.15 million) each from the current 300,000.

The additional cost to the teams comes in the context of continuing negotiations with Ecclestone and commercial rights holders CVC Capital Partners, who also control GP2, for a new Concorde Agreement governing the sport and setting out the future division of revenues.

FIA president Max Mosley, who won a vote of confidence from the FIA general assembly in Paris this month after being caught in a sado-masochistic sex scandal with prostitutes, is at loggerheads with Ecclestone over the terms of a new agreement.

Mosley, who was present at the meeting with Ecclestone, has been pushing for the teams to receive a far greater share of the money.

He has also warned that the FIA is facing a major challenge from commercial interests wanting total control of a sport worth billions of dollars.

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