The GP2 Series has been re-branded as the FIA Formula 2 Championship, starting from the 2017 season.
The FIA had been looking into making the route through the junior formulae clearer, with the plan for young drivers to move from Formula 4 to Formula 3, into Formula 2 and then Formula 1.
GP2 has been active since taking over from F3000 back in 2005, and has seen drivers such as Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton, Nico Hülkenberg, Jolyon Palmer and Stoffel Vandoorne take the title before moving up into Formula 1, but the renaming will make it a more viable route through the ranks.
“Completing this process with Formula 1 Group and bringing FIA Formula 2 to life is a very important step,” said FIA President Jean Todt. “The championship will provide the final level for junior drivers who are looking to reach the ultimate goal of Formula One, and we have achieved a key target for the FIA in completing our single-seater pyramid.
“In recent years we have developed a hugely successful programme of FIA Formula 4 championships in 12 countries around the world, the FIA F3 European Championship has become very strong and competitive, and now we have this final piece of the puzzle. I am also very pleased to see that we are already working in the same direction as Formula One Group, and I am sure that this positive relationship will continue to benefit our sport.”
FIA Single-Seater Commission President Stefano Domenicali believes the route through the junior ranks is now much clearer with the re-branding of GP2, and they are looking to make the series both strong and popular.
“With FIA Formula 2, we now have everything we need to craft a clear and logical path for single seater drivers from grassroots for Formula 1,” said Domenicali. “As they progress from karting, we have FIA Formula 4 at national level in countries all over the world, and from there the FIA Formula 3 European Championship is a fantastic proving ground before drivers take on the challenge of competing on the world stage.
“For us to now have FIA F2 in this process makes the whole thing complete, and we are looking forward to making FIA F2 a strong and popular series for drivers and fans alike.”