Bernie Ecclestone is working on a coup to scuttle fellow F1 powerbroker Max Mosley's plans for a low-cost 'formula 2' feeder series. Already in the driving seat of the official support category GP2, it is rumoured the F1 chief executive is in talks to fashion a third tier to his empire - 'GP3'.

According to the authoritative Swiss publication Motorsport Aktuell, his plans involve the European-based junior series International Formula Master (IFM), which was conceived in 2007 as a competitor to formula 3. It is believed Ecclestone sees his GP3/IFM concept as superior to FIA president Mosley's plans to revive F2 with an ultra-low budget in the realm of €200,000 per car.

While a typical GP2 season costs each car up to €1.5 million, and a berth in the F3 Euroseries costs about €800,000, IFM is already competitively up and running with annual budgets of around €450,000.