Following an agreement between Formula One Group and the FIA, the GP2 Series officially becomes the FIA Formula 2 Championship from the 2017 season onwards.
The joint announcement was made today at the World Motor Sport Council held in Geneva, Switzerland.
Started in 2005, the GP2 series has firmly established itself on the world stage as one of the premier one-make racing championships.
The FIA Formula 2 Championship will continue to provide the same opportunities for young driver talent to demonstrate their abilities in front of Formula 1 teams as they compete on world-renowned circuits, on a car created to ensure that the challenge for the teams is also maintained.
With Formula 1 at its peak, Formula 2 (F2) join the ranks of single-seater FIA championships, which aim to nurture talented drivers from karting through Formula 4 and Formula 3 before they enter the world stage. With F2 in place, motorsport will be more accessible to both drivers and fans.
Since GP2’s inaugural season, drivers from the series have graduated from the championship to Formula 1 every year, from the first ever champion (and reigning World Champion) Nico Rosberg to Stoffel Vandoorne this year.
Speaking about the change, Formula One Group CEO Chase Carey said:
“I am very pleased to announce the evolution of the GP2 Series to become the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
“Junior categories and especially the upcoming F2 Championship are strategic activities for the Formula One Group.
“We are delighted to strengthen them through this agreement with the FIA.”
FIA President Jean Todt said:
“Completing this process with Formula One Group and bringing Formula 2 to life is a very important step. The series will provide a fantastic opportunity for junior drivers who are looking to reach the ultimate goal of Formula 1.
“In recent years we have developed a hugely successful programme of FIA Formula 4 championships in 12 countries around the world and the FIA F3 European Championship has become very strong and competitive. Today’s announcement further strengthens this programme.
“We are delighted to have been able to work with the Formula One Group, to introduce F2 and benefit our sport.”
FIA Formula 2 Championship CEO Bruno Michel added:
“After twelve amazing GP2 seasons which have provided an incredible show for fans and took twenty-eight drivers to an official Formula 1 seat – including two World Champions – we have decided along with the FIA to become known as the FIA Formula 2 Championship.
“The FIA has fully embraced GP2’s core values which will now be adopted by Formula 2; a powerful, safe and challenging car, enthralling races, and a training ground to enter Formula 1 with a particular focus on cost control.
“This is a great opportunity for our drivers, our teams and our partners.”