GP2 officially becomes Formula Two for 2017

2017 F1 season

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The GP2 series will be renamed Formula Two with effect from 2017, the FIA has confirmed.

“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.”

The renamed Formula Two series will support Formula One at the Bahrain, Spanish, Monaco, Azerbaijan, Austrian, British, Hungarian, Belgian, Italian and Abu Dhabi Grands Prix this year. It will also have a standalone event at the Jerez circuit in Spain prior to its final round.

The change of name will bring with it an increase in superlicence points for drivers who finish in the top ten this year. The top three drivers will all score 40 points instead of the top two, and the next seven will score 30, 20, 10, 8, 6, 4 and 3 points respectively.

“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.”

GP2 was created in 2005 as a replacement for Formula 3000, which itself had replaced Formula Two ten years earlier. Another Formula Two championship was run by the FIA between 2009 and 2012.

Formula One chairman Chase Carey said he was “very pleased” with the change which he said will strengthen the series. “Junior categories and especially the upcoming Formula Two championship are strategic activities for Formula One.”

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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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41 comments on “GP2 officially becomes Formula Two for 2017”

  1. Any idea which one of the races they won’t show up to? Thats a pretty big expansion of the series!

    1. The additional info makes more sense. F2 will support F1 at all but one of the events F2 goes to, not all but one of the F1 races this year.

      1. It shouldn’t be support series. Should be more like WSR 3.5. Separated from F1 on tracks where there is no F1.

  2. Is there any chance in the future they could allow teams to graduate from ‘Formula 2’ to Formula one? Might be a good way of getting new teams that already have some resources in place and know what to expect?

    1. How do you expect an F2 team suddenly have to construct a Formula 1 car and have an engine for it as well?

      1. Honda can supply the engines.

        1. They only produce GP2 engines.

          1. AHhahahahha

          2. Shaun Robinson (@)
            10th March 2017, 8:15

            Brilliant! Haha

          3. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
            10th March 2017, 9:49


      2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
        9th March 2017, 18:15

        It would be a good idea if FIA or FOM granted a special big-sum price and allowed F1 teams to “lend” (sell or rent) the previous year technology / chassis / engine (not this year because of the big rules change, but if the rules remained similar for more time).
        Of course I’m daydreaming too much, but I mean that this kind of promotion would mainly depend on FOM supplying the neccesary aid, not the F2 team itself.

        1. Yeah this is kind of what I meant. Obviously a GP2 team would not have the resources to just become an F1 team, but with help from FOM it may be an easier way for F1 to gain a new team rather than a completely new company like Haas. Also if you’re an investor looking at getting into F1 like Haas, Caterham..etc did, and you knew this was an option, and you’d get FOM support it may make it a much more attractive investment opportunity than trying to set it up from scratch. As, apart from Haas, there hasn’t been a truly new competitor in F1 that has been half way decent for years – all of the decent newer teams have taken over from old ones – Jaguar-red bull, Jordan-FI..etc. It’s obvious F1 needs to have some sort of plan for getting new teams to enter the sport and be actually competitive.

          1. Fudge Kobayashi (@)
            10th March 2017, 9:57

            “It’s obvious F1 needs to have some sort of plan for getting new teams to enter the sport and be actually competitive.”

            GP2 teams isn’t the way.

            This is a brand alignment nothing more.

    2. @shjadow13 Which is exactly what Manor did after 2009. I wonder how their 2017 test is going.

  3. Makes sense to me, part of FIA’s an to simplify the ladder to F1. A difficult task!

  4. *plan

  5. Probably a good decision, makes sense for the casual viewer wondering what it is, and I think it’s good to have F1, F2 and F3, instead of F1, GP2 and F3. Although, where does this leave GP3?

    1. @hugh11
      They could rename it to F3 World Series, although I must admit that there are quite a few differences between both formulae. It’d be a shame if they discontinued the well-established format of F3, but maybe there’s a way to make both series compatible with each other.

    2. WeatherManNX01
      9th March 2017, 18:12

      Not sure what the FIA thinks of it, but my thought is to make F3 into three tiers and have GP3 be the top as FIA International Formula Three (with continental and national/regional F3s below). That way it still falls in place as a feeder series, sits above European F3, and can maintain its position as an F1 support race (if that’s indeed what they desire).

      1. Pretty complicated that way.

        Given that there isn’t a huge gap between F4 and F3 now, maybe it makes more sense to transfer the F3 car to F4 (or upgrade the new F4 car to F3 performance levels), and use the GP3 car in F3.

        That way you’d have:
        – national F4 series with a +- 200HP car
        – European F3 series with the old +- 400HP GP3 car
        – F2 series with the old +- 600HP GP2 car
        – F1

        It would also declutter the national series, where we now sometimes see a mix of national F4 and a few remaining national F3 series with no clear relation between them.

  6. Sounds good. I just hope that the expanded calendar won’t mean that the sport becomes too expensive. Teams folding and/or choosing money over talent could lead to a devaluation instead of the intended upgrade.

  7. I doubt they will come to Canada. Have they ever before? The times I went to the race in 2000-2003, there wasn’t any other notable series in support of the GP. Ferrari challenge and lawnmowers mainly.

  8. While I understand the rationale behind this I can’t help but see a future where all major motorsport is on the same bill, owned by the same group and hidden behind the same TV paywall…

  9. I think some people are confused by how the F2 calendar will work.
    F2 will support F1 in all but one of its events (“Its” meaning F2 and the event is Jerez). The F2 is not expanding to follow F1 to 19 events this year.

    1. WeatherManNX01
      9th March 2017, 18:17

      Yeah, the FIA’s wording was not the greatest.

  10. Some of these replies are a bit stunning. I’m talking about the ones that think the idea of a support race team eventually moving into the top slot is somehow unworkable or odd. I’d only advise those people to study some motorsports history, where they will easily find that “moving up” is very common.

    And on the name change itself, when will event promoters learn that the LAST thing you want to change is a familiar, recognizable series or formula name? That counts triple now that so many other series are operating and fighting for fans.

    1. “And on the name change itself, when will event promoters learn that the LAST thing you want to change is a familiar, recognizable series or formula name?”

      Any corporate does a rebranding to dissociate itself from some unsavoury event in the past – new name, fresh start, and all that management jazz.

      This change was inevitable after Alonso’s “GP2 engine” rant.

      1. I guess they will have to change the name again next year? Looking forward to hearing Alonso’s McLaren F2 car rant (In that I like Alonso’s humour, not me wanting him and McLaren to fail).

        1. @the-last-pope – sadly, they do look to be having a horrid start to the year. The only small consolation is that McLaren’s poor performance means that some of the midfield/backrunner teams have a better shot at earning more prize money – Manor’s exit was bad enough.

  11. Robert McKay
    9th March 2017, 19:38

    In amongst all the talk of “rationalisation” it still remains to be seen what difference a logo change will actually mean…

  12. the FIA need to make an F1 team that’s sole purpose is bringing up talent from GP2 into F1. I know it’d cost a lot but have a team just for that strict use.

    1. This. Win the F2 championship, get a (reasonably) guaranteed two-year contract if you don’t sign elsewhere. If the champion finds his own team, go to the 2nd place driver. Fund the team enough to be a contender for points.

  13. OK, have Honda and Alonso been informed of this name change? That’s kinda important…

  14. Perhaps the rename is more to do with de-Bernification as he came up with the GP2 series in the first place.

  15. It seems to me that when people like Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz jnr, where both never competed in GP2, are chosen ahead of a lots of GP2 drivers, then GP2 needs to ask what the traits were that got them selected ahead of the best GP2 drivers, and how to encourage its own drivers to have those traits. It seems to me GP2 needs to change its format to so its top drivers have the right traits for F1 and are chosen ahead of those in F3 and other racing series even if one ignores the weighting applied to Super Points.

  16. Having an F2 and F3 feeder series for juniors to move up through makes sense – MotoGP has done it for years with Moto2 and Moto3 and it’s great! Watching all the young kids battle on edge trying to prove their worth and making mistakes and learning – I find it quite exciting.

    Hopefully they do something similar for an F3 of some description.

  17. I don’t support this move. F2 is supposed to be an open formula, whereas GP2 has always been single-make.

    1. I hadn’t thought of it that way. That is a good point. Maybe there are plans to open up the series to more than one make of car.

  18. @keithcollantine, please add your thoughts on this move by the FIA. It would be interesting to hear from someone other than an official spokesperson what the possible benefits and/or disadvantages might be from this move!

  19. Here we go again, isn’t this the 4th revival?

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