The FIA has made moves in the last few years to try to fix the mess of the single seater pyramid of championships. For a long time now there hasn’t really been such a thing and even when people understood the best career moves for a young driver it might have meant karting > a national F3 championship > International F3000 > F1.
It was confusing and messy. Now with the demise of national F3 championships there are less possibilities for really good young drivers. There is a significant lack of cars and championships to run in. Aspiring F1 drivers tend to be spotted by teams very young and then heavily invested in. Others lack talent but bring sponsorship. This just adds to the mess and means that many great drivers simply go to different championships where they might actually get paid for their services.
With the creation of a points system to determine which drivers can get a Superlicence to drive in F1 the FIA has sought to strengthen its series. Naturally enough, a driver gets heaps of points for FIA championships. And this is where the proposed new F2 fits in. It’s going to be designed to be a step on the ladder to F1, perhaps the best leg up you can have. Winning F2 will give a driver more points than anything else.
The obvious thing to do would be to make GP2 that new F2 championship and then rename GP3 to F3 accordingly. The problem with that is that at present GP2 doesn’t seem to be a feeder series to F1 – drivers just aren’t coming through in numbers. However, with the new FIA superlicence points that F2 would bring it would likely mean that aspiring F1 drivers would flock to the series and F1 teams would be forced to consider the talent on offer.
If a separate F2 is created you have to wonder what will happen to GP2. There would be less reason for a driver to invest their time and money in it with less points on offer than an F2 drive. Teams might also decide to make the switch. It’s in this context that the boss of GP2, Bruno Michel, has declared that GP2 is open to becoming the new F2. It might be simple economics that are driving it but it also makes a lot of sense for everyone concerned. Having the future F1 drivers racing in front of the F1 teams at a Grand Prix meeting would be great for the drivers and the fans. People would be able to see careers develop more clearly.
Hopefully the FIA’s new President of the Single Seater Commission, Stefano Domenicali can push things in that direction.