Max Mosley’s Formula Two championship has taken a step closer to reality with the announcement that MotorSport Vision (MSV), the company belonging to former racing driver Jonathan Palmer, has won the FIA’s tender to supply chassis and engines for the series.
Palmer’s organisation, which operates five racing circuits in England including Brands Hatch, will also take on the promotion of the series and the operation of the cars.
MSV has commissioned the Williams F1 team to design the car, giving it instant credibility, and the turbocharged 1.8 litre engines will be supplied by long-time Palmer partner Audi.
The first prototype car is on schedule for its testing debut in November this year, with the Championship due to start in May next year. There will be 16 races over eight events, as support for larger series.
The F2 format calls for centrally-owned cars in order to reduce costs for entrants and open up the path to F1 for drivers who cannot afford a more traditional route. Mosely estimates the cost of a season should be less than a quarter of a million Euros – considerably less than a driver might expect to have to find for a GP2 season.
This is broadly the philosophy behind Formula Palmer Audi, which has operated for 11 years under MSV’s management as an affordable route into motor sport and produced graduates such as Justin Wilson, Giorgio Pantano and Gary Paffett.
Palmer told Autosport: “Obviously I’m absolutely thrilled that our bid has been accepted. I think MSV’s experience in a range of areas has been important. There’s clearly the fact that we have run FPA for many, many years and that has given us a lot of experience with that.
“But also with the advent of taking over the circuits four years ago, race event organisation and as a promoter, so we’ve got a pretty broad base of activities and experience, which I think has helped us in this bid.”
Mosley said: “The objective is to make top-level international single-seater racing available to drivers who at present have difficulty in raising enough money to demonstrate their talent.”