Pascal Wehrlein, Ferrari, 2019

Second new F1 team expresses interest in 2021 entry, naming Wehrlein as “potential” driver

2021 F1 season

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Formula 1 could have two new teams on the grid in 2021 as the CEO of Formula 2 squad Campos has confirmed he is looking at entering the championship after next season.

Salvatore Gandolfo, CEO and co-owner of Campos Racing, says he has enlisted the support of the Spanish motorsport federation behind his bid to enter an F1 team. Gandolfo met with Formula 1 CEO Chase Carey in May and had subsequent meetings with F1 motorsport director Ross Brawn.

Gandolfo also runs Monaco Increase Management, which represents former Sauber and Manor Formula 1 driver Pascal Wehrlein, who is now Ferrari’s simulator driver. Alex Palou, who briefly raced for Campos in F2 and now races in Japanese Super Formula, is also on their books. Both were named as “potential” drivers for the potential team.

The new team “would fill a void left by the retirement of Fernando Alonso, and increase the interest of the Spanish fans and the TV and media audience,” said a statement from MIM Group (Monaco Increase). “The Campos Racing Facility, as well as the know-how of the Campos Racing Team, already competing and winning in Formula 2 and Formula 3, make Spain the perfect home for a new Formula 1 Team,” it added.

Gandolfo and Adrian Campos have enlisted former F1 engineers Peter McCool as technical director and Ben Wood as chief aerodynamicist. A prelimary design study has begun and “will be completed as soon as the new regulations are published at the end of October.”

Gandolfo said his team’s entry into F1 would be “a long-term project.”

“We are aware of the big challenges ahead of us,” he added. “But we have a team of experts working day and
night and the financial solidity required by the FIA to make this project a success.

“With the new budget cap, the new distribution of incomes and the new
technical and sporting regulations, there is a great opportunity for smaller teams to compete.”

As RaceFans revealed in August another potential new team, Panthera Team Asia F1, is looking to enter the championship in 2021.

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...
Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...

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  • 33 comments on “Second new F1 team expresses interest in 2021 entry, naming Wehrlein as “potential” driver”

    1. Palou is interesting to me. He never seemed that special in Europe, finishing 7th in F3 in 2018 (although that is a spot ahead of Zhou who’s now impressing in F2), but he’s been the best of the rookies by far in Super Formula – comfortably ahead of Ticktum and Markelov, 2 highly rated drivers. If he wins the final race of the season, he wins the championship. Maybe he’s one of those drivers who gets better the faster the car is, or maybe (like Rosenqvist), he just took a bit longer to find a driving style or something that allowed him to be very quick, but now he’s found it, he is very quick. I’d like to see Palou in F2 next year for Campos alongside Aitken, see how he can perform there, and if he does well, maybe he will be ready for F1.

      1. Depending on the result in Super Formula, Palou needs at least a fifth place (if he wins) in Formula 2 next year to be eligible for Formula One in 2021.

    2. Did the proposed new distribution of incomes cover having more than 10 teams or is it only the top 10 that get any share?

      If it does, does this water down the distribution to all teams?

      1. All teams are getting a basic fare and a bonus based on their position if i read the proposes correctly But I am not sure it was never my strong point.

      2. @dbradock, according to the article that Dieter published back in June, the revised financial structure would be a modified version of the current system.

        As MacLeod notes, there is a basic payment known as the “Column 1” payment – 50% of the prize money goes into that pot, and that is then split evenly between every single team. You then have the “Column 2” payment, which is performance related – as in the past, that is still only paid to the top 10 teams (although the amount paid per placing has been changed to flatten out the differences, and the additional payment that the 10th placed team gets over any team in 11th or lower is also reduced).
        https://www.racefans.net/2019/06/07/details-of-175-million-cost-cap-and-new-prize-money-structure-for-2021-revealed/

        If a new team does join, the Column 1 payments made to the current ten teams will be reduced by about 9%, but the Column 2 payments would remain the same.

    3. Duncan Snowden
      3rd October 2019, 16:50

      “fill a void left by the retirement of Fernando Alonso”

      Oof. That’s a bit harsh on Carlos, isn’t it?

      1. Specially considering the great job he is doing..!

      2. It’s kinda true though. I know Spanish people who never watched F1 before, but know Fernando Alonso. They may have heard of Carlos Sainz, but that’s the older people and they’d be thinking of Sr. There’s a reason why there was only any legitimate talk of the Spanish GP leaving the calendar once Alonso retired (afaik). Carlos is doing a good job, but people in Spain who don’t follow motorsport just don’t know him and he’s not getting new people into the sport – maybe a Spanish team could.

        1. Duncan Snowden
          4th October 2019, 12:46

          A fair point, and one I thought of after I posted. But my memory of watching the stands at Barcelona on TV was that it took a few years before people started noticing Alonso. If McLaren become competitive and Sainz wins a race or two, he could easily end up as much of a hero. Granted, that’s a big “if”, but a new team could – probably more likely – end up being another HRT.

          Then again, if they got Fernando involved in it…

    4. Their last time did not go really well. Wonder what is the motivation to try again? At least the hrt cars had pretty nice looking liveries.

      1. @socksolid I don’t think it’s really fair to judge the previous three entrants too harshly. They joined (perhaps foolishly) believing that budgets were going to be controlled. Budget caps were scrapped, they were thrown under the bus and the whole debacle was (bizarrely) used to strengthen Bernie’s “quality over quantity” argument.

        I really hope we’re not setting ourselves up for a repeat of that.

    5. These new teams will require significant backers.
      Without them, we’ll have more of 2019 Williams.
      just my 2cents

    6. Jose Lopes da Silva
      3rd October 2019, 17:24

      I’m from the minority who wants a full grid of 26 or more cars, irrespective of the fact that they wouldn’t be able to score points. The system should allow point-less teams to comercially survive, and make room to rookie drivers to show up and develop. Or veteran drivers to understand they aren’t going anywhere, like Trulli in his final years. These are all good news, but the lack of enthusiasm of the FIA is not.

      1. Are we really a minority? I would see 30 cars if it were my choice.
        Then again, I would destroy the current concept of the entire way the sport is ran, governed, the races , the teams, the manufacturing of cars, the engines, the tires, fuels, all of it, especially the way the financials are organised and tied to results. Throw it away and start anew.
        But I am not in charge , so I’ll just keep trying to be a fan of motorsport

        1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
          3rd October 2019, 19:36

          +1 from same minority.
          I’d also like to see single-car teams again.

          1. I have been saying this too, new teams should have a grace of 3 years where they can run just a single car built themselves or buy an off the shelf chassis from another team at the start of the season, then it is up to the buying team to develop it from there, make it more likely a new team can enter and build up the infrastructure and resources needed over time. Lets face it Frank Williams started with a single car team running an off the shelf March!!

            1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
              4th October 2019, 12:18

              +1 also for teams to buy off the shelf chassis.

    7. Wehrlein is a real talent, easily better than at least 3 drivers on the current grid, probably more like at least 5.

      1. Agreed, his dropping out was simply awful. One of the very bests from those who dropped out in 15 years.
        Honestly he was not cucumber, he was promising and decent instead.

      2. While he is a very very good driver he was dropped of his other talents (being a diva is one of them)

    8. Gandolfo said his team’s entry into F1 would be “a long-term project.”

      lets hope he succeed before Wehrlein is ready for his retirement then ;0

    9. I’m getting horrible déjà vu feelings from 2009: a few new teams looking to join the grid with massive rule changes proposed but not confirmed. Hopefully things turn out differently than ten years ago.

      1. @kaiie – I would say you are right to have that concern.

    10. Wasn’t it Campos who were launching a new team the last time a budget cap was planned and they sold out to HRT at the last minute?

      Might be making that up, but don’t think i am…

    11. One does not simply enter a new team in Formula 1

    12. I’m prob in the minority on this but I like the idea of having as many teams and cars possible even if they are lower midfield teams who will never make it to the top. We need teams like this to develop new talent. Even if they arnt racing for the front it also gives fans a little extra just for the fact they will see more cars way more often. I really hope they all work out. Right now you can come into the sport and know you won’t be last bc Williams pretty much is winning the race to be last (sorry a little harsh) let’s hope for the best and let’s hope they build the teams under the HAAS formula bc that has worked amazing

      1. I agree. the more the merrier (OK I don’t want them to lap 10 seconds slower than the midfield, but if they are within 107% I guess it’ll be OK)

    13. Hopefully lessons were learned 10 years ago and the new teams don’t head into this at full steam until after the 2021 financial changes are ratified.

    14. Ash (@shoeybababooey)
      3rd October 2019, 19:46

      Gandolfo: “The new team would fill a void left by the retirement of Fernando Alonso, and increase the interest of the Spanish fans.”
      Sainz Jr: “Am I a yoke to you?”

    15. Am i the only one to have read the article and only being able to remember the awesome name of the technical director ?

      1. That is a cool name

        1. Magnus Rubensson (@)
          4th October 2019, 12:29

          Jake Peralta: “–Code name: The Fridge! … oh no, that’s terrible!”
          Charles Boyle (enthusiastically): “I know: Iceberg Salad”.
          Jake Peralta (shakes head): “That’s even WORSE!”

          Sorry I watched Brooklyn 99 yesterday.
          Awesome name indeed.
          He won’t need a code name… :)

    16. So we went from potentially Audi or Porsche or other top marque and now its Campos? haha

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