A1 Grand Prix (A1GP) was a 'single make' open-wheel auto racing series. It was unique in its field in that competitors solely represented their nation as opposed to themselves or a team, the usual format in most formula racing series. As such, it was often promoted as the "World Cup of Motorsport". The series was ratified by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and races were held in the traditional Formula One off-season, the northern hemisphere winter.The nation-based A1GP concept was founded by Sheikh Maktoum Hasher Maktoum Al Maktoum of Dubai, initially in 2003. After a successful first season of A1GP, it was announced on 29 September 2006 that Maktoum was to sell his position as Chairman & Director of A1GP . The transfer of his share in the organisation of A1 Grand Prix to RAB Capital was finalized in December 2006. Tony Teixeira took control of the series in 2006, leading it to liquidation by 2009.
The A1GP formula provided a single "spec" car for each team. Each car was mechanically identical, built with many technical restrictions designed to limit performance, reduce running costs, and prevent any one or number of teams gaining an advantage through better equipment. This regulation provided a level playing field in which driver skill and team effort should become the primary factor for success. Ferrari designed and manufactured the cars which should be used from 2009 to 2014, but these were never raced.
Specifically, the cars had a carbon fibre monocoque with an aluminium honeycomb core chassis based on the Formula One Ferrari F2004 chassis, riding on control slick tires from Michelin. The 4.5-litre Ferrari/Maserati V8 engine was capable of delivering up to 600 brake horsepower (450 kW) in PowerBoost mode - a mechanism to provide short bursts of increased power to create additional overtaking opportunities and action throughout the race.