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2 places, 4 leaders, 10 competitors – is there really no room for new F1 teams?

2 places, 4 leaders, 10 competitors – is there really no room for new F1 teams?

The FIA’s call for bids is drawing to a close, and it will soon become clear who and how many are trying to enter F1 as a new team. The current keepers are still protesting the field’s expansion.

At the beginning of the year, the FIA ​​announced its application, which gives two teams the opportunity to join the current 10-team Formula 1 championship from 2025 at the earliest. The original deadline for the declaration was the end of April, but the union later extended it.

The application deadline is May 15, i.e. Monday.

Four known applicants

Three teams have officially confirmed their applications, but according to the news, four teams have applied for the two vacant spots. Michael Andretti and GM had already indicated before the announcement that they were going to F1, since then they have also confirmed that they will enter in 2025, and they are so serious about their project that Formula 2 and Formula 1, which run alongside F1 they will also start a team In series 3 and train their supplies there. American show.

Apart from them, Craig Pollock’s Formula Equal project has also gone public. They are funded by supporters from the Middle East and, according to the news, from Saudi Arabia. At the heart of their program was the equality of the same name: they want to hire women and men in a 50-50 ratio, if possible also on the competitive front.

An Asian company is also trying to be compelling with a similar trendy theme. LKY SUNZ, which has chosen a rather exotic name for itself, will work with a center in the Far East and fulfill its motto “diversity” by recruiting specialists from Asia, Africa and South America.

While these three entrants have officially indicated they will be coming to F1, we have only heard press reports about a fourth. The Hitech stable, which runs teams in the lower categories, is working under the name H26 under Oliver Oakes to form an F1 team, for which tests are already being carried out in the Mercedes wind tunnel.

No news has been received of the other entrants. As the current deadline expires, perhaps more will be revealed about the applicants, but projects will not be judged now, but until June 30th.

Instead of her arms…

While the prospect of getting involved in F1 is understandably attractive to many as the series grows in popularity, the current 10 teams are fiercely opposed to the idea of ​​expanding the field. The team bosses explained this last time in Miami. Coming up with weird arguments here and there…

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff indicated that the decision is not in their hands, and they can only have a say. “First of all: we don’t have an opinion on this. If they ask us… our opinion is put forward, but we are not part of the team selection process.”

“Our opinion – which we’ve already said – is that it’s very difficult to perform in Formula 1. It’s taken us many years to get where we are. We’ve had difficult periods when Formula 1 hasn’t been as successful as it is now. So whoever comes in has to It’s good for all of us. Either by bringing something new to the show, or helping to increase ratings, or bringing in a lot of the marketing money we’ve put into it over the years.”

Toto Wolff (Photo: XPB)

“Red Bull and Mercedes have spent hundreds of millions of dollars, and if that’s the case, then we have to be open minded and see how we can do that. But I say again, we’re not involved in the organisation. If they decide to take another team, I’d love to find someone who can really Taking what we have now and making it even bigger.” – formulated their “expectations” Wolff.

And where do they put it?

His Red Bull teammate, Christian Horner, sees the situation similarly, but has also highlighted practical problems. The problems are the same as twelve months ago. Financial as well – an incentive for existing teams if they accept the XI’s arrival. Who will pay in the end? If that dilutes the 10 teams’ revenues, it’s like the turkeys vote at Christmas… Why do we do that? Is Liberty ready to pay for the eleventh team? And is the FIA ​​willing to lower its fee for that? “ – It is pointed out to the problem that cutting the same cake into 12 slices instead of 10 is not good for those who are already there.

According to him, there are other types of obstructions. There is not enough space in F1 for new teams…

“If you look at the pit lane, for example, in Monaco or Zandvoort or some of the tracks we’re racing at the moment, where will the eleventh team be accommodated? There are questions already from an operation point of view. Where do they put the motorhomes? Where will the service be? Where will it go? Trucks? It would be very difficult to put them in the current state of the sport.”

Christian Horner (Photo: XPB Images)

Alpha Tauri team leader Franz Tost, who is leaving at the end of the year, also agrees. “Infrastructure is also an issue, and you can’t just say, well let’s have an XI or XII team, because a lot of things have to change to make that happen. But it’s not up to the teams, the decision is up to the FIA ​​and FOM, and we’ll see how they decide said the Austrian.

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“No need for dreamers”

According to the news, only two out of ten stables will support the Andretti project. Alpine because they will supply them with engines, and McLaren because Zak Brown is a good friend and business partner of Michael Andretti. However, it is clear that even they have reservations.

“We have ten health teams at the moment and that’s great for the sport. If he gets more than ten and makes you less healthy, he’s probably no good. But it’s not up to us or me to say.” – said Alpine director Otmar Safnauer.

Zak Brown (Photo: XPB)

Brown added: “If they increase the number in a way that has the right resources and adds something to what we all strive for and helps the sport grow, I support it. In the last decade I have seen one new credible team, Gunther (Steiner, Haas). Whoever comes in, we have to make sure That they’re really committed and capable of whatever it takes.”

“Because you see a lot of dreamers in motorsport, and for the sport we don’t need people who realize what it takes and leave after two years.”

Brown stated.

Günther Steiner, who runs F1’s youngest team, Haas, which debuted in 2016, wouldn’t mind if he stayed 10. “The battle is getting more intense, everyone is in a stable economic situation. Why should we change it if it is not beneficial for us?” he asked the question.

So the new teams could arrive in a headwind. As long as … the call for tenders does not mean the actual expansion of the field. The FIA ​​will examine the credibility, professionalism and sustainability of the projects, and only those who already meet all the criteria will be allowed into the gates. It could be two teams, it could be one team, but it could also mean that the expansion would miss out.

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