LONDON: The GP2 series which served as a final stepping stone to Formula One for McLaren’s world champion Lewis Hamilton is to introduce cost-cutting measures to help it weather the global downturn.
Organisers said in a statement on Monday that plans submitted to the teams would limit the number of personnel at races, ban official testing during the season and reduce the cost of certain parts.
“We cannot ignore the world’s financial crisis that affects us all,” said series organiser Bruno Michel. “We need to make sure we can go through the present delicate time by finding solutions both in the technical and sporting areas.
The Renault-powered series acts as a feeder to Formula One, producing a quarter of last year’s starting grid. Williams’ Nico Rosberg won the GP2 title in 2005, Hamilton in 2006 and Toyota’s Timo Glock in 2007.
While the series acts as a support event at grands prix, it faces a new rival this year in the revived Formula Two category backed by the governing International Automobile Federation.
The FIA said last June that it wanted Formula Two to be a low-cost “platform to develop emerging driver talent for Formula One” and hoped teams could compete in that series for less than US$328,600 per car per season, far less than GP2. — Reuters