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GP Week : Issue 30
> F1NEWS> Formula 2 starts to take shape LAST week’s news that the FIA has chosen Jonathan Palmer’s bid to run the new-for-2009 Formula 2 championship confirmed the body’s seriousness over what had been seen as a far-fetched notion at its original conception. With the Williams F1 Team also named as part of the operation, F2 is now seen in a somewhat more serious light. Williams CEO Adam Parr expanded on Williams’ involvement when quizzed on the topic by GPWeek in Singapore. “We are designing the car for Jonathan Palmer,”he confirmed. “We have no involvement in the F2 ustomer cars chance to lose two teams than to get in another two teams. “If we are sitting here and say, well, we cannot think about synergies, getting costs down because Williams have invested into some areas some years ago, I think it’s the wrong way. I think Formula 1 has to go on, to do what is right for Formula 1 and where Formula 1 has the best chance to end up with 24 competitive cars again, not cars that are running two laps behind just to fill the field, and making a good show.” With F1 teams due to deliver their own proposals for cost cutting to the FIA in the coming days (see separate story), the issue of customer cars will likely be raised again. As an entry level proposition at the very least, the sharing of technologies may be an affordable and sensible way to increase F1 grid size. It is worth noting that for all its opposition to customer cars, Williams began its own Formula 1 existence using a customer March 761 chassis for the 1977 season, before running a car of its own design in 1978. series beyond that, but it may well be that what we will do with Jonathan later on is to introduce a sub-series using the same chassis and the same format around the world as feeder series. That’s broadly our involvement.” Parr divulged that the challenge of the new project was an exciting one for Williams, as with a price-tag of 250,000 Euros per car, the FIA hopes to give high level racing opportunities to drivers priced out of the likes of World Series by Renault and GP2 “In terms of the way the series is going to develop, it’s a very exciting new challenge because it is a difficult format to operate successfully but Jonathan’s been doing it for 11 years with his Formula Palmer Audi and our collective goal and ambition is to create a series which is really accessible. “You’ve seen the pricing of it, really fair, but also a fast exciting car and that’s our responsibility, so we’re hoping it will create an opportunity for people who couldn’t afford some of the more expensive series to have a go.” The use of Audi engines in the series will also be of high interest to Formula 1. The German manufacturer has flirted with the possibility of entering F1 for many years and is believed to have been on the cusp of putting its weight behind an F1 programme for the last few seasons. Following the success of its Le Mans programme and Formula Palmer Audi, there are many who believe that any positive PR the company gains from F2 could well ease its path to F1 in the future.