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F2 winner promised a Williams test

October 04, 2008 09:36 IST

The winner of next year's new Formula Two series will be guaranteed a Formula One test drive with Williams, organiser Jonathan Palmer said on Friday.

"In partnership with Williams F1, we are establishing a formula leading directly to Formula One with an outstanding new high performance car yet at a fraction of the cost of the alternatives," he said in a statement.

"I am absolutely determined that Formula Two will attract the greatest depth of talent by virtue of its extraordinary cost effectiveness, and ... produce most of the best future F1 star talent in the coming years."

The governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) wants Formula Two to become a low-cost feeder series for Formula One from next year, with Audi-engined 400bhp cars designed by Williams under the guidance of team co-owner Patrick Head.

There will be 20 places available in the series at a cost of 195,000 pounds ($344,700) plus tax per driver for the season, with cars to be prepared and run by Palmer's MotorSport Vision rather than being handed to teams.

The championship will be held at eight European circuits from May 31 to Oct. 4 with most races running alongside the FIA's world touring car championship.

The GP2 championship, which bills itself as 'Formula One's strongest feeder series' and has provided a quarter of the current grand prix starting grid, will continue with races at Formula One weekends.

Organisers of that series, set up by Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone and Renault team boss Flavio Briatore, announced on Friday they would launch a GP3 series in 2010 as a stepping stone to GP2.

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