Bahrain, Saturday: The GP2 Asia series, F1’s winter feeder series, has announced it is to scale back its ambitions in the wake of the current economic crisis.
Events on the GP2 Asia calendar have previously taken place across the continent, in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and Qatar, but as the credit crunch bites the decision has been made to run at just two circuits for this year’s championship, in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. The series will also be renamed “GP2 Persian Gulf” in order to reflect its reduced scope.
“Unfortunately we have had to reduce the number of rounds in the series to just four, at two venues,” a spokesman said. “This is because of technical difficulties.” When pressed as to the nature of these problems, the spokesman replied: “Technically, a proper Asian series should encompass the whole of the continent, but this one doesn’t.”
Fears about the stability of several single-seater categories have been rife in the past few weeks, with some reports suggesting that the Formula Three Euro Series will next year revert to its previous incarnation of the German-with-a-little-bit-of-Netherlands-and-Belgium Formula Three championship, and that the World Series by Renault will become Renault’s French Car Park Extravaganza on account of spiralling circuit hire fees. British F3 may even rebadge itself as Formula Seven or Eight, given the expense of the number three.
A1GP is reported to have considered a revolutionary no-race calendar for its 2009-10 season in response to economic problems, though due to Ferrari supply problems it is expected that the number of rounds will have to be reduced to minus one.