October 21, 2009 43 Comments
Current working grid…send me confirmations when you have them so we can build up the list together.
June 3, 2009 5 Comments
With the completion of the first FIA Formula Two race at Valencia this past weekend, articles have begun to surface once again regarding the relevance of this new racing series.
F2 is loosely modeled after the highly successful arrive-and-drive Skip Barber Race Series in the US, where great drivers such as Juan Pablo Montoya, Michael Andretti, Helio Castroneves, Ernesto Viso and Scott Speed have come from.
F2 is attractive because of its price, about €250k, period.
Other “advantages” are engines more powerful than F3 and its “evenly matched” playing field. Apart from the price, which today is attractive (but may not be tomorrow), the F2 “circus” today is but a mere side street show. It runs with WTCC, a dying series that is not hugely popular, and the International Formula Masters, ironically its direct competitor. Finally, the F2 grid is a mix of young talent and unknown drivers, with a lower proportion of future talent that can be found in Formula Renault or Formula BMW.
So where does the threat to GP2 fit in? It comes in the FIA’s intention to upgrade F2’s racing entourage, and push it up to race during F1 weekends. F2 wasn’t created solely as a “low cost” series for Jonathan Palmer and Williams to make some cash, but rather as a serious philosophical alternative to GP2 or the possible arrival of GP3 – which F2 most directly competes with.
GP2 for Max Mosley reads FOTA, and this means it is unwelcome in his future F1 world. Owned by CVC, running Renault engines and costing upwards of €1 million per seat, GP2 is going in the wrong direction in his book. F2 is more “communist”, if you permit the expression, with a “true” F1 constructor making the cars (Williams) and an outsider supplying the engines (Audi).
So where does this leave us? Again, in a political battle of mixed interests and concerns. What I can say is that F2 cannot fully substitute GP2 as a racing philosophy, where drivers compete with 600 BHP+ cars, similar in dimensions and performance to F1.
The F2 value proposition is solid, but I hope it makes its mark in the racing world where it belongs – right below GP2. I believe GP3 is superfluous and if the need for a full racing ladder exists in the F1 paddock, F2 should fill that spot. The problem is, I don’t feel that need exists, and the current racing ladder is quite complete today, with the important issue of bringing down exhorbitant cost structures – especially in the F3 Euroseries categories.
June 1, 2009 Leave a comment
After several days away, we find ourselves close to the Istambul race. All is quiet in the GP2 world though I’m sure many are eyeing this race as a turning point.
1. This race will mark the final negative spiral for many of the GP2 backmarkers, especially Trident, DPR and Durango. Their financial situation is dire, and as the season wears on, any hope of a Jakes, Al Fardan or other saviour is pretty much finished. From this point on, their presence at any GP is a very touchy situation.
2. If Barwa Addax continues their dominance, the whispers heard in the GP2 paddock will become louder. I truly feel their dominance is well-deserved, but many have told me of the typical insatisfaction when a team leads with such clarity and difference. Let’s hope for the sake of the sport that no one begins to pout and pollute this already difficult season.
3. GP2 has an extended lease on life as FIA, FOTA and FOA have solved their issues. This allows for any possible corporate activity in GP2 to go ahead, though it will mostly be during the off-season period.
I will get back as the news prior to Istambul pick up.
April 23, 2009 2 Comments
So we have reviewed the 2 wonderful GP2 Asia seasons, both for their irrelevance in the motor racing world in generating new talent or serious competition and for their destructive impact on team finances – for almost every team on the grid.
Some questions for the GP2 management (or GP2 Gods if you prefer):
March 18, 2009 Leave a comment
After the GP2 Stars and the Survivors, come the 5 other teams that in my estimation will be hard-pressed to finish the 2009 season without incurring serious financial troubles. Apart from the hemorrhage the GP2 Asia Series is causing (to be addressed in a separate future post), these 5 teams are consistently at the bottom and fighting for the budgets (usually partial) of midfield drivers and occasional newcomers with funding.
March 18, 2009 Leave a comment
After the top 4 teams in GP2 come what I would call the “survivors”. They are survivors because they fight year after year – sometimes even every half-year – for their drivers and their budget. Some years they make money or break-even, while others they lose a bit of money.
The GP2 Survivors: