FIA defends F2 plans amid ridicule

(GMM) A spokesman for F1's governing body has played down suggestions that its plans to resurrect Formula 2 are a political ploy that is totally unworkable.

Ever since the FIA announced recently that it wanted to establish F2 in 2009 with a per-car budget around 200,000 euros a season, it has been derided by industry insiders.

In the latest issue of the magazine GPWeek, unnamed figures of GP2, the support and feeder series that currently operates alongside grands prix, slammed the F2 proposal.

"It's bullsh*t," said one, ridiculing the claim that any professional racing team could operate a high-tech single seater with such a low budget.

"Even if everyone worked for free and we set ourselves up as a registered charity, the team's travel expenses alone would be more than 200,000 euros," he said.

Another said that, with the tender process only now pending, FIA chiefs led by Max Mosley are "barking mad" if they think there is enough time to organize the series for 2009.

The GP2 bosses suspect that the F2 announcement is just the latest twist in the current power struggle waged by Bernie Ecclestone and Mosley.

"What they don't realize is that they're playing with our lives and our careers," one said.

The FIA spokesman defended the plans.

"We're quite keen on it. It will give the ASNs (national sporting authorities) a means of promoting new talent and we have some very specific ideas on the way it will work," he said.

"There's no reason why it couldn't be at GP2 level, but with a more manageable budget. It's something the FIA Fund could help in trying to encourage new talent at national level."

GP2 organizer Bruno Michel did not comment.

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