‘GP3’ to take on A1 Grand Prix?

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Robbie Kerr, A1 Grand Prix, Brands Hatch, 2007Was Bernie Ecclestone at last weekend’s A1 Grand Prix finale at Brands Hatch? If so, what was he up to?

Rumours persist that Ecclestone wants to run a series using GP2 specification chassis at Asian venues during the Formula 1 off-season.

This is, of course, the time of year when A1GP runs its ‘World Cup of Motorsport’. If Ecclestone’s venture to Brands Hatch was to check out the viability of co-operating with or (more likely) taking over A1GP, he does not seem to have been taken with it:

There is a future for a series which brings in drivers who can step up to F1. I’m not sure A1 does that. Maybe there is room for a GP3 series, which would also provide another road to F1.

Pitpass insists that not only is Ecclestone readying GP3 as a rival to A1GP, but that forthcoming Formula One magazine The Paddock has discovered that Formula One Promotions and Administration (an Ecclestone company) has registered GP3 as a trademark.

Could Ecclestone be about to launch a killer blow against the fledgling World Cup of Motorsport?

A GP3 series could lead to more than another ‘route to F1’. If, like GP2, it were FIA-authorised, the governing body would increase its direct control over the single seater classes junior to F1 – much as the NASCAR Nextel Cup also has the Busch League, Craftsman Trucks and other divisions.

Is that the future for F1?

And if Ecclestone was at Brands Hatch, could he please take note of the fact that the winners Nico H??lkenberg and Robbie Kerr were allowed to do doughnuts after the race to entertain the fans – and that allowing that sort of thing mgiht help F1 shake of its staid image…

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “‘GP3’ to take on A1 Grand Prix?”

  1. Nathan Jones
    2nd May 2007, 9:37

    i am not aware that donuts are banned in formula 1! i do believe that they dont do them so as to have some tread on the tyres for legal reason’s, yet another reason to bring back slick tryes!

  2. Nathan Jones
    2nd May 2007, 9:38

    i am also led to believe that in champcar it is compulsory!

  3. I think so! Although Sebastien Bourdais used to get mocked for not being able to do them properly. His efforts were dubbed ‘croissants’!

    Of course now he’s won so many Champ Car races he’s had plenty of practice.

  4. The relevant rule in F1 is Article 43.3 of the Sporting Regulations, which states, among other things, that “all cars must proceed on the circuit directly to parc fermé without any unnecessary delay”. Unless someone convinces the FIA that doughnuts (or even croissants) are necessary to the enjoyment of the spectators, then they will continue to be banned. A depressing rule really, but I suppose they have to maintain parc fermé rules somehow :-(

  5. Does that mean Hamilton and Alonso should start climbing fences?

    I think somewhere it’s been forgotten that A1GP is not supposed to be a training series, and although it seems farfetched, if there is to be a sort of World Cup of Motorsport, having a stupid trainer series running in parallel would undermine it- unless he’s planning on requiring F1 pilots to drive for their countries…

  6. Bernie is almost as bad as Flavio when it comes to having stupid ideas.

  7. Clive Says:

    Bernie is almost as bad as Flavio when it comes to having stupid ideas.

    DITTO, twice!

    And may I add MadMax Mosley!

  8. Oh, Mighty Max is the champ when it comes to stupid ideas. :D

  9. A1 is flawed in one vital detail. Italians, perhaps the biggest motor sport fans on the planet, see their country as being represented by Ferrari. Why would they support A1 if they can support Ferrari in F1? What is needed is a balance. Countries should be represented by teams that can be run by manufacturers e.g. Ferrari can represent Italy, McLaren can represent the UK etc. It would not have to be an absolute though; countries without manufacturers could be represented by individual teams. The best team in a country would represent their country.

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