New Single Seater Commission President, Stefano Domenicali, has reaffirmed the FIA’s position that Formula 2 should be the next logical step between Formula 3 and Formula 1.
Domenicali took over the position from Gerhard Berger at the end of last year and had made initial moves to the reformation of the F2 category when the new Superlicence points table was unveiled in January.
The controversial table placed the “Future F2” category above the existing stepping-stones, Formula Renault 3.5 and the GP2 Series. Formula 2 previously ran from 2009-2012 and was promoted by Jonathan Palmer’s Motorsport Vision company.
Although mentioned in passing during Berger’s tenure as the Commission President, there was little push to address the gap between F3 and F1, until after the structure around entry-level classes had been addressed.
With the European F3 Championship progressing strongly and Formula 4 emerging in numerous markets, the 49-year-old Domenicali now feels the time is right to begin pursuing the Formula 2 concept. “I am enthusiastic about the task and also about the people working with me in the commission,” he says, adding, “They are very passionate guys, young professionals with a lot of motivation.”
The creation – or recreation – of the F2 category could prove to be a more difficult task for Domenicali the reinvigoration of F3. It is a level of motorsport steeped in politics and big money, whether it GP2’s direct involvement with Formula One Management or FR3.5’s position in the World Series by Renault package.
On the surface, however, there appears to be little desire to press against existing championships – for now at least – but Domenicali is keen continue the restructuring of the ladder to F1. “There is no agenda for us beyond building what we believe to be the best, most competitive, affordable series possible to allow drivers to make the final step and to create a clearly understandable path.”
Yet with a reasonably lengthy stint in one of Formula One’s harshest environments behind him, the Italian will be well used to the fraught adventures that lie ahead, but for now, his goals are assured and simple. “My job is to make sure that my experience and vision of motor sport can influence the work of the commission in order to present to the World Motor Sport Council – and to the world of motor sport – ideas to make sure single-seater racing has a well-structured platform that can enable not only drivers but also young engineers and teams to develop a career and their business.”
The creation of the European F3 Championship and Formula 4 ruffled numerous feathers and brought the doors down on several categories and with GP2 and FR3.5 potentially standing in the way of F2; one can imagine more further positioning and politicking lies ahead.
Domenicali continues, “I believe that from a federation point of view what we want to do is make sure we create the right steps so that from an experience point of view, drivers arrive in F1 well prepared.”
“We know that the context is not easy but this is what we stand for,” says Domenicali, before closing with, “When Jean Todt asked me I said ‘OK, thank you very much, let’s go.’ Now I’m starting to work towards presenting something that can be good for the benefit of motor sport.”
It is a keen time to be a spy on the junior motorsport scene and one can only imagine that fireworks are soon to be at the ready.