JUNE 5, 2004
The GP2 series to be delayed?
The FIA International Formula 3000 Championship could continue next year because teams are not happy with the deals on offer from the new GP2 Series. The new series is supposed to attract many of the current F3000 teams and perhaps others from the Formula Renault V6, Nissan World Series and Formula 3 series. But teams that have looked closely at the budgets say that GP2 is too expensive and will cost them a minimum of $1m a car. This is much more expensive than the current series which costs between $500,000 and $750,000. The teams have the added benefit of being able to sell their cars on at the end of each season but with Renault pushing for a different structure, the European Formula 3000 series will no longer offer the market that once existed.
It was announced recently in Monaco that the Formula Renault V6 and the Nissan World Series will merge their operations next year to create a single clear stepping-stone between Formula 3 and GP2. The deal is not really a surprise as Renault owns Nissan. The newly series will be called the World Series by Renault and will feature a spec chassis based on the current Dallara. The series will feature 420bhp Renault engines but will be promoted by RPM, the organization which runs the Nissan World Series.
In addition the World Series Light class will be phased out to make way for Formula Renault 2000, which is already well-established.
The prototype GP2 car is due to run for the first time in the middle of July but the team owners are asking whether GP2 has been designed to help streamline the path for young drivers to get to Formula 1 or whether the primary purpose is for the organizers to make as much money as possible.
It is possible that if the cost of GP2 is not reduced teams will go to the FIA and ask for the International Formula 3000 series to be run again next year.
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