GP2 Series organiser Bruno Michel has dismissed suggestions that the new, low-cost, F2 initiative could eventually spell the end of the current market leader in F1 feeder series.
Speaking on the eve of the final group test of the winter, Michel addressed the possible threat from Max Mosley's creation, and dismissed it as not able to compete with GP2 in terms of exposure to, and experience of, Formula One.
F2 was launched during the height of the 2008 season, when Mosley was apparently fighting all sides in a bid to remain power after a 'personal indiscretion'. The one-make series, which will be overseen by Britain's MotorSport Vision organisation, features Williams-build, Audi powered cars pushing out 400-450hp but costing a fraction of its rivals on the same rung of the motorsport ladder. There will also be no teams to run the cars, which will all be maintained at MSV's central location in England, but Michel remains unconcerned.
"For all the reasons I stated earlier – running alongside F1 and the high level of performance of our cars - no category can compete with GP2 as a feeder series to Formula One," the Frenchman explained, "In reality, the F2 grid has hurt other categories that usually feed the GP2 Series, but not us. Drivers with 2010 F1 ambitions know that they unquestionably have to compete in GP2 this season and nowhere else.
"Moreover, the fact that some F2 drivers will be given a superlicence will not make them F1 drivers. For a driver to move into F1, they first have to get noticed by F1 team principals [and] there is no better place than GP2 to achieve that. Our championship is the final step for drivers before Formula One whereas F2 will probably become a feeder category for GP2."
Despite the increasingly overcrowded ladder system underneath F1, however, the GP2 organisation will unveil its own feeder series, GP3, ahead of the 2010 season - which Michel also believes will have the same advantages as its more established relation and therefore pose a threat to F2.
"This new category will be based on the same principles as GP2, with a competitive car running alongside Formula One and GP2, spectacular races and ruled by severe cost control," he underlined, "It will give young racers the opportunity to display their driving skills in front of GP2 and Formula One teams. This new championship will start in 2010 and will be a natural breeding ground for GP2 - with the objective to become the most successful one."