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GP Week : Issue 31
> F1NEWS> 0 F2 plans take more shape JONATHAN Palmer has outlined his plans for the new FIA Formula 2 Championship, which will feature cars built by the Williams F1 team. Due to begin in 2009, Palmer has confirmed that the first grid will be of 20 cars, with each driver paying just £195,000 (US$400,000) plus tax for the season. “The return of Formula 2 after 25 years is an enormously significant time in the history of motorsport,”Palmer said at a press briefing. “There is no doubt the FIA’s eagerness to create a prestigious high performance new championship at a radically low cost is perfectly timed. “I am extremely excited about this fantastic new opportunity for Motor Sport Vision, Williams F1, the FIA and most importantly, the F1 drivers of the future. “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. “I am absolutely determined that Formula 2 will attract the greatest depth of talent by virtue of its extraordinary cost effectiveness, and through its carefully considered format and equality of opportunity produce most of the best future F1 star talent in the coming years.” The Formula 2 cars are being designed by a six person team from Williams F1, led by Director of Engineering Patrick Head. Williams Team Principal Sir Frank Williams also spoke at the briefing: “Patrick Head is a truly gifted engineer and I hope that Williams F1 can deliver to Jonathan Palmer a well engineered, safe car for the drivers that is not too difficult to work on or expensive to operate,”he said. The F2 car will be powered by a brand new turbocharged Audi race engine, designed specifically for the series, which will produce a base 400bhp with 450bhp available by way of a “push to pass” style button. The level of technology utilised in the series has already come under fire, however, as the cars used in the series will only be built to comply with 2005 FIA F1 Safety Standards, a feat F2’s perceived greatest rival, the GP2 Series, achieved back in 2005. The championship will consist of eight rounds (16 races) and will be run alongside the FIA World Touring Car Championship. F2 will also feature as the ‘main race’ at events in the UK and France. The winner of the F2 championship will win a full- scale test drive with the Williams F1 Team. Fia formula 2 championship 2009 calendar 31 May 21 June 28 June 19 July Valencia, Spain Brno, Czech Republic Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Brands Hatch, UK 16 August Donington Park, UK 30 August 20 Sept 4 October Monza, Italy Oschersleben, Germany Magny Cours, France