GP2 renamed FIA Formula 2 Championship
Following an agreement between Formula 1 and the FIA, the GP2 Series will officially be known as the FIA Formula 2 Championship from 2017.
The joint announcement was made this week at the World Motor Sport Council held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Established in 2005, the GP2 Series has firmly established itself on the world stage as one of the “premier one-make racing championships”.
According to the FIA, the Formula 2 Championship will continue to provide the same opportunities for young drivers to demonstrate their abilities in front of Formula 1 teams, as they compete on world-renowned circuits, in a car created to ensure that the challenge for the teams is also maintained.
With Formula 1 at its peak, Formula 2 (F2) joins the ranks of single-seater FIA championships, which aim to nurture talented drivers from karting through to Formula 4 and Formula 3, before they enter the world stage. With F2 in place, motorsport is expected to be even more accessible to both drivers and fans.
Since the inaugural season of the GP2 Series, its drivers have graduated to Formula 1 every year, from the first ever champion (and reigning World Champion) Nico Rosberg to Stoffel Vandoorne this year.
Formula 1 chairman and CEO Chase Carey said: “I am very pleased to announce the evolution of the GP2 Series to become the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
“Junior categories, especially the upcoming Formula 2 Championship, are strategic activities for Formula 1 and we are delighted to strengthen them through this agreement with the FIA.”
Jean Todtm, FIA President, added: “Completing this process with Formula 1 and bringing F2 to life is a very important step. The Championship will provide a fantastic opportunity for junior drivers who are looking to reach the ultimate goal of Formula 1.
“In recent years, we have developed a hugely successful programme of FIA Formula 4 championships in 12 countries around the world, and the FIA F3 European Championship has become very strong and competitive. Today’s announcement further strengthens this programme.”
FIA Formula 2 Championship CEO Bruno Michel concluded: “After twelve amazing GP2 seasons, which have provided an incredible show for fans and taken twenty-eight drivers to an official Formula 1 seat – including two World Champions – we have decided, along with the FIA, to become known as the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
“The FIA has fully embraced GP2’s core values, which will now be adopted by Formula 2; a powerful, safe and challenging car, enthralling races, and a training ground to enter Formula 1 with a particular focus on cost control.
“This is a great opportunity for our drivers, our teams and our partners.”