‘GP3’ to take on A1 Grand Prix?

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Robbie Kerr, A1 Grand Prix, Brands Hatch, 2007Was Bernie Ecclestone at last weekend’s A1 Grand Prix finale at Brands Hatch? If so, what was he up to?

Rumours persist that Ecclestone wants to run a series using GP2 specification chassis at Asian venues during the Formula 1 off-season.

This is, of course, the time of year when A1GP runs its ‘World Cup of Motorsport’. If Ecclestone’s venture to Brands Hatch was to check out the viability of co-operating with or (more likely) taking over A1GP, he does not seem to have been taken with it:

There is a future for a series which brings in drivers who can step up to F1. I’m not sure A1 does that. Maybe there is room for a GP3 series, which would also provide another road to F1.

Pitpass insists that not only is Ecclestone readying GP3 as a rival to A1GP, but that forthcoming Formula One magazine The Paddock has discovered that Formula One Promotions and Administration (an Ecclestone company) has registered GP3 as a trademark.

Could Ecclestone be about to launch a killer blow against the fledgling World Cup of Motorsport?

A GP3 series could lead to more than another ‘route to F1’. If, like GP2, it were FIA-authorised, the governing body would increase its direct control over the single seater classes junior to F1 – much as the NASCAR Nextel Cup also has the Busch League, Craftsman Trucks and other divisions.

Is that the future for F1?

And if Ecclestone was at Brands Hatch, could he please take note of the fact that the winners Nico H??lkenberg and Robbie Kerr were allowed to do doughnuts after the race to entertain the fans – and that allowing that sort of thing mgiht help F1 shake of its staid image…

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