The World Motor Sport Council has confirmed that the GP2 Series will become FIA Formula 2 for 2017, starting in Bahrain on April 15.

GP2 has been Formula 1's premier support series since 2005, but had been rumoured to be on the verge of becoming Formula 2 as part of FIA president Jean Todt's bid to reform the single-seater ladder.

On Thursday, the FIA confirmed that the name change had been approved following discussions with the Formula One Group, now owned by Liberty Media.

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"The World Motor Sport Council approved the creation of the FIA Formula 2 Championship for 2017 onwards," the statement reads. "The FIA reached an agreement with the Formula One Group regarding the transition of the GP2 Series to FIA Formula 2, and the series will support the FIA Formula One World Championship in all but one of the dates."

The Formula 2 calendar is identical to that announced for GP2 for 2017, supporting Formula 1 for 10 rounds and also enjoying a standalone event at Jerez on October 8.

GP3 will remain unchanged for 2017, supporting eight Formula 2 events including the Jerez round.