JANUARY 26, 2009
GP2 cutting costs
The GP2 Series has cost a great deal of money for the competing teams since it began in 2005 amid promises that it would bring down the costs from the expensive Formula 3000 machinery, which was costing teams around $750,000 a year. By the end of the first year the GP2 teams were reporting that their budgets were $1.3m per car, largely due to the fact that they were not allowed to shop around for their parts and had to buy these from the GP2 company. That made the business a nice little earner but it did nothing to help youngsters without cash to get to F1. This year the FIA decided to introduce a new low-cost Formula 2 and although there are still some drivers who can afford the GP2 budgets, it is tough for the teams.
GP2 has thus announced "a significant decrease in the cost of some parts" plus a ban on seven-post rigs and wind tunnel testing.
The sporting rules has been changed to limit teeams to 13 members of staff, which will reduce to 12 in the mid-season. There will also be a ban on all testing after the season begins.
The GP2 organisation says it will contribute to the cost saving plan by offering teams more credit when it comes to buying spares. Whether the teams will want to get into debt with the company is another matter.