FIA to invite entries from potential new Formula 1 teams

2023 F1 season

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FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem says motorsport’s governing body will actively launch a process to find possible new teams to join the Formula 1 grid in future seasons.

Formula 1 has maintained just 10 teams on the grid since the departure of Manor at the end of 2016. However, the United States-based Andretti organisation has been open of its intentions to bid for an entry into Formula 1 as an 11th team.

In a statement shared on social media, Ben Sulayem stated the FIA would begin a process of searching for possible new entries in the sport at his bequest.

“I have asked my FIA team to look at launching an expressions of interest process for prospective new teams for the FIA F1 World Championship,” read Ben Sulayem’s statement.

Beyond Andretti, over recent months Hong Kong-based Canadian billionaire Calvin Lo has also discussed his interest in establishing his own Formula 1 team to join the grid as a new entry.

Currently, under the Concorde Agreement, any new entrants to Formula 1 must pay a fee of $200 million (£164.8m) to be divided between the existing teams. Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has previous stated his belief that Formula 1 does not require an 11th team in order to continue to remain successful.

Only one entirely new team has entered Formula 1 in the previous ten years: Haas, which joined the world championship in 2016. Prior to that, Formula 1 saw four brand new teams granted permission to join in the same season in 2010 – Virgin, Lotus, HRT and USF1. However, USF1 failed to appear on the grid at all, and none of the teams which did enter were still in the sport by 2017.

Andretti recently broke ground at a brand new team headquarters in Indiana to enhance their global racing programmes, including IndyCar, Formula E and Extreme E. The new facility is currently set to open in 2025.

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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34 comments on “FIA to invite entries from potential new Formula 1 teams”

  1. Alleluja

  2. Let me take a wild, possibly clinical guess…
    Calvin Lo knows the right people and the right price to suddenly make an 11th team a possibility.
    Andretti doesn’t stand a chance

    1. Andretti never had a chance. Mr. Lo or no Mr. No ( Sorry I couldn’t resist it)

  3. We have the absolute sporting disgraces of Haas and Dorilton F1 on the grid, why do we need more teams?

    1. Perhaps you’ve given the answer yourself.

    2. Why are they disgraces?

      This is one of the most competitive fields ever in F1. 2006-2008 compares only.

      Who do you miss? HRT? Minardi? Or the random teams from the 80s and 90s who did not even pre-qualify? Or the Sauber that was literally a one year-old Ferrari?

      1. Why are they disgraces?

        Because while both teams have made credible efforts to compete in the past, they have basically stopped even keeping up appearances since 2018 and 2019, respectively.

        Who do you miss?

        I miss Formula 1 teams being owned by people who want to compete in Formula 1.

      2. This is one of the most competitive fields ever in F1.

        @f1mre It was also the season with the most wins by a single driver ever.

        While calling the teams a ‘disgrace’ seems to be overstating it, it’s nevertheless a fact that at the very least four of the ten teams have no hope of being competitive for the prizes, and three more are only marginal candidates for the odd podium.

        For comparison, Indycar in its most recent season had 5 championship leaders, 9 different winners and pole sitters in 17 races, and almost half the field (16/35) on the podium at one point or another. This wasn’t a fluke either, as the numbers for 2021 are pretty similar.

        1. IndyCar is a single chassis series. It’s a very bad comparison.

          1. Indycar is indeed a single chassis series, and it’s very successful at generating a competitive field.

            F1 is an outlier in modern motorsport. Anything from single chassis, single car, choice of a selection of third party chassis, or performance balanced cars has accepted that it makes little sense to splurge on “developing” cars given that the main purpose of modern regulations is to keep the cars limited to the same pace they’ve had for 30 odd years. It’s very easy to make a car that’s faster than an F1 car, it’s just not allowed under the regulations – and series like Indycar, Super Formula are only slower because they choose to be.

            F1 is mainly a marketing ploy for the teams involved, but the silly thing about F1 is that they’ve all convinced themselves that having these regulations will help them dominate, when all it has really done is make F1 one of the least competitive series around. It’s game theory gone wrong. And, rather than making the participants look good by sharing the wins in a competitive field, it makes manufacturers like Ferrari, Mercedes, Alpine, McLaren and Aston Martin look pretty silly to have collectively spend billions on cars that won an average of 1 race each (and then 4 of those were won by Ferrari). Meanwhile, an energy drink company won all the rest.

    3. Coming from someone who watched pre qualifying i want more cars on the grid then there you can have room for each year a new driver coming from F2. If the teams are healthy i see no problem what so ever.
      Williams is a company which is on the edge if the new teams can spend 200m each year i so no problem.

    4. With Audi teaming up with Sauber and maybe even sister group company Porsche thrown into the mix, you wonder why F1 and the FIA do.tjese things to itself. The grid is stable for the 1st time in a while. He’ll some of these teams with the cost cap might actually make money instead of loosing it. Why indeed would they rock the boat.

  4. What about Andretti? I actually miss Bernie and Todt now. Being in bed with these dirty Saudi’s is getting really hard to stomach. Love the picture though. Picture caption should be “And if you don’t like it I’ll have the other MBS chop you into small pieces”.

    1. I don’t understand why people like yourself have gotten the idea that Bernie didn’t sell out the sport for the people with the biggest paychecks, but y’all need a history lesson lmao.

      At least current FOM made an effort to keep historic tracks around and add back a couple extra to boot. Bernie would have had two races in Europe at most by this point.

      1. @sjaakfoo there is some debate about whether Liberty Media is making that much more effort than Bernie would have been doing if he was still in charge. After all, the number of European venues on the calendar now is the same as it was back in Bernie’s time (9), and in some cases the contracts for those races are still the ones that were signed back when Bernie was still in charge.

        Similarly, let us not forget that there have been discussions about dropping some of those “historic tracks” – the expectation is that the Belgian GP is only temporarily staying on the calendar because of the restrictions that China has imposed on foreign travel, with the sport keen to return to China and the understanding being that they are considering dropping the Belgian GP off the calendar and rearranging the rest of the calendar to make room for that event.

        Furthermore, whilst you talk about “historic tracks”, don’t forget that a major component of Liberty Media’s pre-pandemic plans revolved around increasing the number of street circuits as part of their plans to make the races into a weekend long “destination event”, and it is something that is still being pushed when the contracts for the European venues have come up recently.

        Greg Maffei was also rather blunt about the fact that “new entrants tend to pay more” when discussing the mix of tracks on the calendar during the earlier days of the takeover by Liberty Media, indicating that historic sentiment only went so far when compared to the sort of money being thrown about by new entrants.

        If the pandemic had not caused a significant change in plans, would the calendar really look like it does now?

        If you look at Liberty Media’s strategy outside of Europe, we have had the two street circuits in the USA added (Miami and Las Vegas), whilst we’ve had one street circuit in Saudi Arabia added and Qatar is expected to shift their race from Losail to a street circuit in the future.

        Meanwhile, expansion in Asia was also meant to have continued with the planned Vietnamese GP, had the pandemic not caused those plans to collapse. Meanwhile, the FIA’s South African representative has confirmed that South Africa was meant to have been on the calendar for 2023 – having put the blame on Warren Scheckter, who was representing the local promoter, for not being able to deliver on his financial promises – and that there are currently efforts to raise the funds to revive the South African GP for 2024.

        If you look at some of the suggested mechanisms to keep the calendar at current levels – around 23 to 24 races per season – the proposals have been to cut races or to rotate races between venues.

        If you look at the list of races that were rumoured to be on the list for being axed, we’ve already seen both the French and German GP’s drop off the calendar, whilst there is a lot of speculation about Belgium being cut given they’re on a temporary contract that expires this year. It’s not to say that no non-European venues have been axed – Malaysia has also dropped off the calendar – but it is to point out that the European venues you talk about are really not that much more secure under Liberty Media either, given that they’ve seen races being cut and others under threat of being cut.

        Similarly, when you look at the list of venues that have proposed rotating events, it’s the European circuits that tend to be most frequently mentioned. For example, Spa has publicly discussed the idea of rotating with another circuit – though the races they had discussed rotating with, which were the German and French GP’s, have been cut entirely from the calendar.

        Liberty Media has stated that their commercial strategy has been heavily weighted towards non-European events and non-European markets, and that they have also emphasised street circuits as part of a strategy to make races into “destination events” that are oriented towards multi-media events in urban environments (such as a number of races combining the race weekend with music festivals, for example). The tone may be different, but is there necessarily quite as much of a difference between Bernie and Liberty Media in terms of commercial strategy as you think there is?

        1. the European venues you talk about are really not that much more secure under Liberty Media either, given that they’ve seen races being cut and others under threat of being cut.

          Absolutely true. Also true that Liberty gets a lot of criticism for abandoning European circuits when in fact things have remained more or less steady with the additions of Imola and Zandvoort — two natural terrain road courses which are both commercially and historically significant to the sport.

          All in all, it’s more or less status quo. Spa was continually under threat during Bernie’s reign, too.

        2. Liberty is reaching out to people who don’t own Rolex’s, so that’s a start.

        3. A very good analysis Anon.

      2. Because your post was unclear. You expressed a preference for Bernie and Todt, without any framing of your opinion of them, making it seem like you thought they were OK.

        Your childish response, however, doesn’t really do you any credit.

    2. Dear Mods,

      Re @darryn‘s post: How is downright xenophobia and borderline racism getting through your filters?

      Yours in F1 fanaticism,

  5. Mark in Florida
    2nd January 2023, 19:00

    Andretti will still have no chance even though he is by any metric a successful team manager and owner. Mr. Lo has a better chance. It gives F1 a door to further ingraciate themselves to China. Russia will be back as well at some point. F1 needs their oil and gas money. ⛽️

  6. Obviously no new teams will be permitted to voice an opinion opposing tyranny and evil.

    Also do not expect the Race Director to actually know the rules during a race.
    If your team kiss our feet then you will do well. This is all you need to know.

    Oh … and no jewellery!

  7. I have asked my FIA team to look at launching an expressions of interest process for prospective new teams for the FIA F1 World Championship

    They used to say the way to make a million dollars in F1 was to start with $10M, but today the way to make $1M from F1 is to start with $200M … none of which actually goes on the car.

  8. Why only one team? Bring both in and write up a new Concorde agreement that incorporates all 12 teams in the prize money, I’m sure with the new interest in North America and having a team from the US and a team from an economic powerhouse in China/Hong Kong will definitely bring in new money in sponsorships, partnerships and other packages and agreements.

  9. Steven Williamson
    2nd January 2023, 21:42

    “ actively launch a process to find possible new teams”

    Yes, they must see if there are any ‘new’ teams interested, and not that Andretti outfit,
    they need ‘new’ teams that will run at the back DFL as they are supposed to. Can’t have
    a serious competitor coming in risking shaking things up in even the midfield!

    1. Yep, hit the reset button. Andretti seems to have the money to pay the $200 million sign on fee but they are still being dissed. I wonder why.

  10. This all a smokescreen to allow Lo to start a team while pretending Andretti doesn’t meet whatever imaginary requirements they will come up as part of their “process”.

  11. I kinda like this guy…. The FIA is starting to move in a better direction recently.

    As for adding extra team/s to F1 – he’s going to need more than just his authority to get that past Liberty and the teams…
    The previous FIA boss gave them too much power.

    1. Really! What have you been reading because I don’t see it.

      1. Which bit?

        The FIA moving in a better direction? Well, they are finally starting to apply their own rules and codes more to the way they are written. That’s commendable, given their history. And also starting to take hijacking of their media space seriously too.

        Or Liberty and the teams having too much power to decide how F1 is managed?
        That is self-evident in everything they do now being far more about money than it is about any form of competition.
        Cough – anti-dilution fee – cough…. 10 teams are just right – cough cough….

  12. By ‘process’ can we take it that Ben means a team wanting to express no values other than profit.

    1. What do the current teams express?
      Remind me who wanted the $200m anti-dilution fee included in the Concorde Agreement…?

  13. With Audi teaming up with Sauber and maybe even sister group company Porsche thrown into the mix, you wonder why F1 and the FIA do.tjese things to itself. The grid is stable for the 1st time in a while. He’ll some of these teams with the cost cap might actually make money instead of loosing it. Why indeed would they rock the boat.

  14. I feel the time is right for an alternative series.

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