Formula 1's feeder series GP2 is to follow the top flight's example in embarking upon a dramatic cost-cutting initiative in 2009, it has been revealed.
In the light of the current global economic meltdown, it has been announced that a package of reductions in terms of technical and sporting expenditure is to be introduced, with a ban on rig and wind tunnel testing and – again mirroring F1 – no in-season testing all on the radical new agenda. Technical supplier Dallara has moreover agreed to a 'significant decrease in the cost of some spare parts'.
Staff numbers are also to be limited at 13 per team for the first half of the campaign, dropping to twelve in the second, with an 'exceptional credit' being available to squads in difficulty, in the way of spare parts.
“We cannot ignore the world's financial crisis that affects us all,” GP2 Series boss Bruno Michel is quoted as having said by The Associated Press
. “We need to make sure we can go through the present delicate time by finding solutions both in the technical and sporting areas.
“We are confident that our plan will help everyone go through the difficult period we are in.”
The Frenchman was also keen to stress that the measures being put in place will not in any way affect the category's 'excitement and action'.
A number of leading F1 drivers – including current world champion Lewis Hamilton, the Briton's McLaren-Mercedes team-mate Heikki Kovalainen, Toyota star Timo Glock, Williams pairing Nico Rosberg and Kazuki Nakajima and Renault ace Nelsinho Piquet – are all products of GP2.