No exactly like football. There would be no promotion and relegation, not unless there was room and the teams involved wished to. Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren etc could field teams in both the World and European championships if they wished to – they have the money and like the exposure it brings. Sauber and Force India could decide that no, they’d rather stick to the World Championship, Carlin and DAMS might think, “Hey, we’d like to be in F1, but don’t have enough money for competing in the World Championship, we’ll enter the European one.” HRT might think “Hey, we’d have better funds and more luck in the European Championship, we’ll mode across, is there room?.
Regarding GP2 Asia – I think the reason it failed was that it was simply in the wrong place. Political uncertainty, venues holding multiple rounds, no fan coverage or exposure, empty grandstands, and the fact that all the teams were based 2500 miles away in Europe. How was it ever really going to work? Also, it was an offshoot of a less-watched series. An offshoot of the absolute top tier would surely be more successful, no? How many people would go to watch GP2 if it was an event on its own? no-where near the amount of people that see it now because it is an F1 support race, I’m sure.
As for dilution, there are so many feeder series in single seater racing, that at the moment it seems as if it’s the lower rungs of the ladder that the one ones being diluted, with tiny fields leading to series simply disappearing, like the British Formula Renault 2.0 series did this year. If there was any rung of the ladder that needed more spaces, it’s the top one, and here is a solution. It wouldn’t dilute F1, it would expand it. The World Championship would still be the pinnacle, the big crown to go for, but a smaller, cheaper, shorter season within a region would be a viable and lucrative alternative.
Certainly several tracks have suffered in the recession, and from dodgy ownership (Nurburgring & Donington to name a couple), but what the tracks need is a decent cut of them money and race holding fees that aren’t though the roof. Hopefully a smaller, regional F1 Championship could provide this (Providing Bernie isn’t at the helm, and without sounding too mean, with any luck in the coming years he won’t be and the stranglehold will be released).
And tracks that have been deemed too long in the tooth for World Championship F1 could easily be visited. I don’t buy all this ‘not up to standard’ crap. I just don’t. The old Imola was hosting races up until the mid 2000′s. It probably still could today. Now it has a new paddock and reprofiling, it could eaily hold a European Championship event. Plus it gives it a space back on an F1 Calendar. Monza would still see the World visit. Imagine the British European round at Rockingham, or even the new Snetterton? A Czech round at Brno. We’d see France back again at Paul Ricard or Magny Cours. Navarra could join in, Estoril or Portimao could get Portugal back on the map, and the brilliant Zandvoort could once again rumble with the sound of F1 machinery.
A European Championship certainly wouldn’t be as long as the World one. 10-12 races maybe. Any teams racing in both would have 2 teams of personnel. It wouldn’t be a case of the same team having to visit all races in both championships. They’d field different sets of people. They’d be able to afford this because of the European Championship’s licencing fees, prize money and advertising revenue coupled with the fact that teams could afford to be smaller and wouldn’t have to travel as much.
The teams would be travelling in their own area. GP2 Asia surely would have succeeded if the teams had been based in the Middle East and China/Japan, and the venues were varied (actually visiting all of Asia, like India, China, Malaysia, Japan – rather than just bumbling round the Gulf), instead of having multiple rounds at the same track across a rather spread out calendar over the traditional off-season.