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GP Week : 06-May-2008
shoes, that’s what we would do.’ So it’s not like this should be seen that they have a bad product. Far from it. They have served a purpose, but Ferrari is Ferrari and has so much to offer. “I can’t run a series without cash, and when I explained this to both Zytec and Lola, they understood me.” But there are those, particularly the many mechanics and engineers who have worked in GP2, who see the move to a Ferrari car as a potential step too far. The product, as it exists, is reliable, fast and entertaining. Why then, would A1GP risk moving to a higher level of technology, with a greater level of risk from a reliability point of view, not to mention a greater potential cost? “The first thing we have done is to ensure that the cost will be around what we are used to,” Teixeira states. “I can tell you today that what the cars will cost next year is the price of today plus 10 or 15 percent. “In terms of technology, the cars we are using this year are old technology. These cars are essentially old Formula 3000 cars. The likes of Germany, GBR, France, your Super Nova, Dams, etc, know the cars while the Americans don’t have a clue about a 3000 car. The European guys have used these guys for 20 years. “So I think what will make next season exciting will be the fact that not a single guy in the paddock will know or understand the car. They will all have to work through the night, 24 hours to understand how and why it works. It’s going to be very, very tough. It makes it a level playing field.” A1GP certainly seems to have its future well thought out. A more advanced car, with the selling power of Ferrari behind it, will certainly appeal to the wider net of motorsport nations associated with the series. Part of Teixeira’s dream for the future however, is a complete ladder for A1, including brand new A2 and A3 championships. “A2 will start in 2009 as a national championship,” he confirms. “It’s what we believe ultimately in five or six years will create new driver talent. Out of the 24 nations we have 13 which have no racing at home. So you have got to start something to bring the kids through, otherwise you have a situation like today where Pakistan only has one driver, China has one driver, South Africa has two drivers, but Great Britain has 100 potential drivers! All we are trying to do is maintain what we have sold from day one – a level playing field. “Also, take the example of a nation like Nigeria, who want to be in A1 but don’t have the drivers. They will ask if they can be in A3 or A2, to nurture the drivers and bring them up to the correct level for A1, so ultimately it will result in a larger grid for the top level of the championship. A1GP INSIGHT >> 33