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GP Week : Issue 17
. F1 NEWS or F1's future generation have some very specific ideas on the way it will work. There's no reason why it couldn't be at GP2 level, but with a more manageable budget. It's something the FIA Fund could help in trying to encourage new talent at national level:' GP2 was forbidden from calling itself Formula 2 when it was established at the end of 2004 to replace the defunct Formula 3000 as it is not an official FIA championship. GP2 itself was owned by Bernie Ecclestone until he sold it to eve partners for an estimated US$750 million in 2007. With the current political wrangling between the FIA, Ecclestone and eve over the future of Formula 1, many see the announcement of the intended resurrection of F2 as FIA President Max Mosley's way of hitting back at Ecclestone, given that GP2 is one of his most successful recent ventures. Many of the GP2 team bosses agree that this announcement has more to do with politics than sport. "It's just a massive wind-up against Bernie, isn't it?" one of them said. "Sure GP2 and Dallara need to keep their costs in check, but we have got to a point now where companies are getting involved with GP2 as a genuine commercial product. It is sustainable as a business model and you only need to look at the drivers in F 1 today to see that as a feeder series, GP2 works. Why would you want to risk losing that?" "It sounds to me like the FIA playing politics against Bernie;' said another, "but what they don't realise is that they're playing with our lives and our careers. They're throwing out figures which don't add up and they're making everyone, including themselves, look stupid:' The issue of cost however has another, far more serious implication. "The whole point that makes no sense for me is safety;' one GP2 boss imparted. "If you want to have a feeder series for F 1 you are going to be running fast and technological cars. If you don't have the budget to get the very best engineers and mechanics on your cars you leave your drivers in a dangerous position. The FIA preaches safety, but these proposals would lead to an unsafe championship:' GP2 Series organiser Bruno Michel declined to comment on the FIA's proposals, when contacted by GPWeek. What it costs ... Estimated Costs (per car, per season, 2008) Al GP: f2,500,000 (U5$4m)- franchise plus running costs GP2: fl,500,000 (U5$2.4m) British F3: f750,000 (U5$1.2m) Euro F3: f600,000 (U5$960,000) Formula BMW: f300,000 (U5$480,000) Formula Renault: f200,000 (U5$320,000) Formula Two (Proposed 2009): 200,000 (U5$32 0, 000) Top level Karting: f150,000 (U5$240,000) 7