SEPTEMBER 16, 2008

More on Formula 2

Jonathan Palmer has been giving more details about the new Formula 2, which will start in May next year. Palmer has won the FIA tender process to not only supply the cars to the championship, but also to be the commercial rights holder to the new series. His aim is to extend the concept he has pioneered with Formula Palmer Audi in the course of the last nine seasons in Britain. Palmer, who also controls a number of circuits and is promoter of the British Superbike Championship, will negotiate the TV deals for F2 and organise the calendar of races. It is unlikely that we will see F2 running in conjunction with Formula 1, but it is likely that the new series will run alongside the FIA World Touring Car Championship at some events, perhaps with the Le Mans Series or DTM and there will also probably be a number of stand-alone Formula 2 events in the course of the year.

"We have to see what we can fit together with the big events," said Palmer, a former F2 champion back in 1983. "We are very excited about it. We believed it will be oversubscribed and we will need to have some kind of selection critieria. There should be a huge demand for low-cost racing at an international level. The cars will be superb, sophisticated, quick, reliable and tough."

Palmer says that he intends to continue to expand Formula Palmer Audi in addition to the new series.

The details of the new formula are still being sorted out, but Palmer says that the cars will be operated from his Bedford headquarters and drivers will be allotted a car for the year. These will be prepared to identical specificaton and if a driver feels his car is not performing he can request that it be tested and given a spare if it proves to be less competitive than the others. The cars will be manufactured by various sub-contractors with assembly being at Bedford. Palmer says that the manufacturer of the composite chassis is yet to be decided but says that it will be "one of the established composite firms in the industry". The design of the car is being done by Williams F1 and will have all the safety regulations that were used for F1 cars in 2005. They will have ground-effect aerodynamics and the Audi engines will be uprated to produce between 400 and 500 horsepower. These will feature a power boost button to help overtaking. As with FPA the use of boost buttons will be limited to a number of occasions per race.