FIA have confirmed that the GP2 series renamed as Formula Two from the 2017 season onward. The joint announcement was made today at the World Motor Sport Council held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Started in 2005, the GP2 series has firmly established itself on the world stage as one of the premier one-make racing championships.
“The World Motor Sport Council approved the creation of the FIA Formula Two Championship for 2017 onwards,” the FIA announced in a statement.
“The FIA reached an agreement with the Formula One Group regarding the transition of the GP2 Series to FIA Formula 2, and the series will support the FIA Formula One World Championship in all but one of the dates.”
F2 series will support F1 at the Bahrain, Spanish, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Austrian, British, Hungarian, Belgian, Italian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix this year, with the separate event coming to Jerez in the second to last round of the season.
“Rationalising the pathway to Formula One has been a major goal of the FIA in my time here and the designation of a new F2 would achieve that goal,” said FIA president Jean Todt in a recent interview for the governing body’s Auto magazine.
“Obviously we are in an early phase of involvement in this championship but I think there is a lot of scope for development.”
— FIA Formula 2 (@FIA_F2) March 9, 2017
Speaking about the change, Formula One Group 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 and especially the upcoming F2 Championship are strategic activities for the Formula One Group.
“We are delighted to strengthen them through this agreement with the FIA.”
FIA President Jean Todt said:
“Completing this process with Formula One Group and bringing Formula 2 to life is a very important step. The series 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.
“We are delighted to have been able to work with the Formula One Group, to introduce F2 and benefit our sport.”
FIA Formula 2 Championship CEO Bruno Michel added:
“After twelve amazing GP2 seasons which have provided an incredible show for fans and took 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.”