What happened to the last 10 new teams to enter Formula 1?

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Could Formula 1 soon welcome an 11th entry to the grid? FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem revealed yesterday the sport’s governing body is looking into beginning the process of admitting a new team – something which last happened in 2016.

But making a start in F1 is notoriously difficult. Just 10 entirely new teams have joined the sport since 1994, and few of those are still on the grid.

However the success of one of those which survived serves to underline the value of allowing newcomers in.


Grosjean took Haas to points in their first two outings

Year entered: 2016

Are they still in F1?: Yes

What happened to them?

Haas courted controversy before they’d even turned a wheel. The new entry formed by Gene Haas, owner of the Stewart-Haas NASCAR team, and run by ex-Red Bull engineer Guenther Steiner, exploited new rules which allowed teams to source some parts from rivals, in their case Ferrari.

Complaints the team had drawn too closely on the race-winning Ferrari for inspiration were brushed aside as Romain Grosjean took them to a shock points score on their debut, and followed it up at the next race in Bahrain. Last year they took their first pole position, for the sprint race at the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Six years on, Haas are still with us, which is no mean achievement given the difficulties many of their predecessors faced, as we shall see.


Bruno Senna, HRT, Bahrain, 2010
The first HRT chassis was completed in the pits ahead of its debut

Year entered: 2010

Are they still in F1?: No

What happened to them?

In 2010 F1 admitted a trio of new teams. They were originally lured to the series under the prospect of competing under a budget cap which promised to level the playing field. Although those rules never materialised (different financial regulations eventually arrived in 2021), the new entries did, and inevitably they found themselves at a huge disadvantage as a result.

HRT was the first to hit the wall after just three years. Bruno Senna and Karun Chandhok looked on in the Bahrain pits while the team scrambled to complete their Dallara-designed F110 chassis for their first appearance in 2010. A year of toil at the back followed, and the team chopped and changed drivers as it searched for a budget.

Despite that inauspicious start the team contrived to finish ahead of one of its fellow newcomers in the championship that year and the following season. They sank to last in 2012, and the team was put up for sale before the final race, where drivers Pedro de la Rosa and Narain Karthikeyan took the chequered flag 17th and 18th respecitvely, each two laps down.

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Timo Glock, Virgin, Circuit de Catalunya, 2010
Virgin lasted longest of F1’s 2010 intake

Year entered: 2010

Are they still in F1?: No

What happened to them?

Unlike fellow 2010 newcomers HRT, Virgin at least got their VR-01 chassis to pre-season testing. However the car, designed by Nick Wirth who eschewed wind tunnel development for Computational Fluid Dynamics, had significant problems including the fact it couldn’t hold enough fuel to run a full race flat-out, a problem which was rectified by a mid-season upgrade.

The team was rebranded by Russian supercar brand Marussia and finally scored its first points in its fifth season, after switching from Cosworth power to Ferrari. Jules Bianchi finished eighth in Monaco, was demoted to ninth by a post-race penalty, but nonetheless claimed two points.

Cruelly, less than five months later Bianchi suffered serious injuries in a crash during the Japanese Grand Prix, from which he died the following year. It was the second serious crash the team experienced during its brief existence: Maria de Villota lost an eye when she struck a vehicle during a testing run at Duxford Aerodrome in 2012. She died the following year.

Marussia was on its last legs at the time of Bianchi’s crash and did not reappear that year following the next round in Russia. The team went into receivership, but was rescued and re-entered in 2015 as Manor. A more promising 2016 campaign included another point, courtesy of Pascal Wehrlein in Austria, and until the penultimate round they were still in with a chance of beating Sauber to 10th, but they lost the position and the vital prize money it would have brought, and finally collapsed during the off-season.

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Lotus T127 launch, 2010
Lotus returned to F1 – sort of – in 2010

Year entered: 2010

Are they still in F1?: No

What happened to them?

The third new entry of 2010 was arguably the strongest proposition and, bizarrely, carried the name of a former F1 entry. AirAsia founder Tony Fernandes acquired the rights to the Team Lotus name made famous by Colin Chapman’s title-winning squad whose F1 team closed 16 years earlier. It may not have lived up to that formidable reputation, but it did draw several recruits from Toyota’s recently-shuttered team, not least driver Jarno Trulli who was partnered up with ex-McLaren pilot Heikki Kovalainen.

They won the battle for new team honours in 2010 and the useful 10th place in the constructors’ championship which promised a slice of the valuable prize fund. Lotus repeated the trick in 2011 and again the following year, by which time they had rebranded to another British sports car brand: Caterham. But after slipping out of the top ten over the following two seasons the team hit financial trouble.

After disappearing from the grid following the 2014 Russian Grand Prix, the team made a surprise return for the Abu Dhabi finale aided by a crowdfunding campaign spearheaded by the administrators. It wasn’t enough to secure their return in 2015, however.

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Super Aguri

Super Aguri briefly appeared as a second Honda-powered team in the mid-noughties

Year entered: 2006

Are they still in F1?: No

What happened to them?

Honda ejected Takuma Sato from their works team at the end of 2005, but they ensured the Japanese driver remained in F1 by setting him up at new team Super Aguri, which initially ran a four-year-old ex-Arrows chassis mated to Honda engines.

In 2007, Super Aguri switched to the previous year’s Honda chassis and adapted it to that season’s regulations, which proved competitive enough to show up to top team on occasions. Sato even took sixth in Canada, seeing off Fernando Alonso’s McLaren.

But as ever, Honda’s enthusiasm for F1 waxed and waned. Super Aguri (now struggling with Honda’s poor 2007 chassis) closed down four races into 2008, and the factory squad followed it at the end of the year.


Toyota formed an entirely new team, then pulled out of F1 after eight seasons

Year entered: 2002

Are they still in F1?: No

What happened to them?

Toyota’s money-no-object entry into F1 looked like a formidable proposition until contact was made with reality. Despite spending 2001 touring the world’s grand prix tracks for private tests, they were pipped by minnows Minardi on their debut the following year.

The rigidly corporate operation never looked capable of emulating the success they had enjoyed in rallying. However they took a trio of pole positions (the first courtesy of Trulli at the ill-fated 2005 United States Grand Prix) and 13 podiums finishes. Five of those came during 2009, when they produced a promising machine for F1’s new aerodynamic formula.

However, amid the global economic downturn, Toyota decided to call time on an F1 operation which had expended vast sums achieving conspicuously little. It had already produced its TF110 chassis for the new season, but they were left idle, despite the efforts of persistent F1 hopeful Zoran Stefanovic to enter the car with his Stefan GP operation.


Stewart took a podium in year one and win in year three

Year entered: 1997

Are they still in F1?: Yes

What happened to them?

The team founded by three-times world champion Jackie Stewart impressed by reaching the podium at only its sixth attempt, courtesy of Rubens Barrichello at a rain-lased Monaco. Two years later Johnny Herbert delivered a breakthrough win for the team in tricky conditions at the Nurburgring.

Ford took over the squad, rebranded it as Jaguar, but lost interest after five largely unsuccessful seasons and several changes of management and prepared to pull the plug. Red Bull owner Dietrich Mateschitz made his move, bought the team for a nominal fee (reputedly one dollar) and installed Christian Horner in charge of the rebranded operation.

The team has gone on to be one of the most consistency successful of its era, sweeping to four consecutive constructors’ title from 2010-13 and taking Sebastian Vettel to every drivers’ championship crown during that spell. While the V6 hybrid turbo era proved more challenging at first, the former Stewart team ended 2022 in dominant style with 17 wins from 22 starts, its first constructors’ title for nine years and a second consecutive drivers’ championship for Max Verstappen.


The 107% rule gave Forti a headache they didn’t need in 1996

Year entered: 1995

Are they still in F1?: No

What happened to them?

Following success in Formula 3000 and Italian Formula 3, Guido Forti brought his eponymous team into F1, where it lasted just a year-and-a-half.

Aided by Pedro Diniz’s Parmalat backing, the team made patient progress throughout 1995 with its overweight FG01 chassis, the final F1 car to feature a manual gearbox. A B-spec version was produced for the beginning of 1996, when new drivers Luca Badoer and Andrea Montermini faced and often failed the challenge of meeting the new 107% rule.

Soon after its successor the FG03 arrived, Forti switched from their bright yellow colouring to the green-and-white of Shannon Racing Team, having been taken over by its owner FinFirst. But with debts mounting, the non-qualification at that year’s British Grand Prix was the final time the cars appeared on-track.


The Pacific PR01 resembled Benetton’s B194 but didn’t go like one

Year entered: 1994

Are they still in F1?: No

What happened to them?

Following success in a range of other single-seater formula, Pacific became one of two new teams to enter F1 during the 1994 season. A tiny operation even by the standards of the time, with fewer than 20 staff, Pacific originally used a two-year-old Reynard chassis design. Uncompetitive and unreliable, drivers Bertrand Gachot and Paul Belmondo failed to register a single finish throughout their first season.

The new PR02 was at least quick enough to outpace the Fortis in 1995, and following the collapse of Lotus the team carried its name on their bodywork through a deal with owner David Hunt. Increasingly short on funds, the team hired a series of paying drivers including Giovanni Lavaggi and Jean-Denis Deletraz (father of Formula 2 racer Louis), the latter three seconds off the pace of regular driver Montermini at some tracks. Mounting financial woes meant the team did not race on into 1996.

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David Brabham carried Simtek throughout their tragic debut season

Year entered: 1994

Are they still in F1?: No

What happened to them?

F1 has not had a full grid of 26 cars since the collapse of Simtek following the 1995 Monaco Grand Prix. The team entered F1 the year before but suffered the most dreadful introduction to the sport.

David Brabham and Roland Ratzenberger were hired to drive the S941s. But tragedy struck in qualifying for the third round where Ratzenberger crashed at high speed, suffering fatal injuries. Brabham plugged on while a succession of others – Montermini, Jean-Marc Gounon, Domenico Schiatterella and Taki Inoue – took turns in the other car.

Much like Pacific, Simtek produced a more effective car for 1995, but were plagued by budget troubles. Benetton placed test driver Jos Verstappen in one of the cars with the intention of giving him a full year of racing experience, but Simtek only lasted five races.

What about Lola?

Stewart wasn’t the only newcomer to the grid in 1997. Lola also arrived with a pair of cars for Vincenzo Sospiri and Ricardo Rosset.

The chassis manufacturer had competed in F1 previously under a variety of guises. But their last appearance contributed little: Both cars were outside the 107% time at the first round in Australia and did not qualify, and unexpected sponsor trouble forced them out before the second race in Brazil.

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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...

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43 comments on “What happened to the last 10 new teams to enter Formula 1?”

  1. independentmotorsport..
    3rd January 2023, 14:07

    Didn’t Super Aguri started from the ashes of Arrows.

  2. Good to see you rightly ignored US F1, who I think only managed to make a front wing, so didn’t construct an F1 car.

    You ought to have mentioned that Super Aguri managed to briefly lead that Canadian GP – that was a great moment.

    I loved it when it was discovered that the Pacific team’s website was found to still be running about 5 years ago. It’s surely gone by now.

    There was a great Bring Back V10s podcast a couple of years ago covering F1’s minnow teams which is well worth a search for.

    Lastly, an interesting footnote was that apparently, prior to the fateful Imola 1994 race, the Simtek team, whose driver Ratzenburger was killed at, were close to completing a sponsorship deal with Death cigarettes (an interesting company which donated a % of their profits to cancer research).

    1. You could probably run a whole other article on teams that never even made it to F1, like USF1, and Stefan GP – an outfit run by a dubious Serbian millionaire who purchased an old Toyota test car and threatened to sue the FIA if it wasn’t allowed to race, around the 2009/10 period when the grid was opened up. The team claimed to have entered discussions with up to 10 potential race drivers, including Jacques Villeneuve, although it was never clear exactly how serious they had been.

    2. The pacific website has now gone unfortunately – repossessed by the ISP by the look of things. I saw it declared as DEAD on a Reddit post some 7 years ago now. I do remember it proudly said on the homepage “This site is optimized for Netscape 1.1”

      1. @ahxshades

        “This site is optimized for Netscape 1.1”

        So is RaceFans but you don’t see me boasting about it…

        I was also sorry to see that old Pacific website go. Though quite a few Twitter accounts of deceased F1 teams are still hanging on in there.

        1. @keithcollantine – thanks for the response and happy new year – I don’t suppose you have a list of these defunct twitter feeds to hand :)

          1. @ahxshades Manor are definitely still there @ManorRacing, and Caterham @CaterhamF1.

          2. @ahxshades HRT’s account is still up as I recall, a decade later…

      2. F1 Rejects was a fantastic site run by Aussies (I think) but vanished some time ago. I did find snippets of it on some wayback sites, but most of the good stuff was gone.

    3. @Alesici After double-checking for memory refreshment, Super Aguri didn’t lead either the 2006 or ’07 Canadian GP at any point.
      You might’ve mixed up a race, although I can’t think of any other 2006, ’07, or pre-Spanish GP ’08 race they could’ve briefly led.

      1. This time, and only this time, @Jere, you are right and I was completely wrong! Very sorry to you and everyone for misleading you, and thank you for checking. I’m normally very good at remembering things, so am now quite puzzled by what I’ve mixed up. Somebody slow I think just briefly took the lead in Canada one year, approaching the final chicane, but were outbraked, so they never led ‘a lap’, which is measured at the timing line, making it difficult to trace in the record books. But maybe it was Sato, and just not the lead, but a very high placing during the pitstops. Ah well, it’s a mystery.

        1. @Alesici What did happen though is that Sato overtook Alonso at the Canadian GP. Alonso was world champion then and also leading the championship at that point. Overtaking the champion is probably even a bigger achievement than leading the race, so it is possible that you mixed these two events up?

          1. Yes, that is a possibility, it was a great achievement. Though I see on some stats page that Sato once led 2 laps in his career, so that might be it instead. Any ideas when he did that?

            I have a soft spot for Sato, as he owned for many years one of my fave road cars, the 0.6 litre 1991 Honda Beat sportscar. A joyously humble engine for an F1 driver.

  3. Archibald Bumfluff
    3rd January 2023, 14:32

    It’s quite amazing that to get the last ten new entries (that actually raced) you have to go all the way back to 1994

    I for one would love to see more cars on the grid, they wouldn’t be all up to speed, but that wouldn’t be the end of the world, some of them might improve.

    If for nothing else, it would help get more talent on the grid

    1. I’d also like to see more teams. The more teams the more variety. And the more chance of one of them becoming a good team. It’s also easier for new investments to enter by buying an existing team rather then building everything from scratch.

    2. José Lopes da Silva
      3rd January 2023, 20:03

      A famous but now gone Brazilian blogger said F1 should have 40 car races, or at least 30, at it would not be a nuisance; it would be generally better.

      He made a comparison between a 2016 or 2017 season with the 1989 rookies, where did they came from and where did they end up. (F3 champion, F3000 5th placed, etc.) The equivalent rookies of the previous 2016 season could nowhere get a seat in modern F1, for lack of seats.

      At least now he have 19 available seats, thanks to the budget cap, apparently. It’s the same number as late 1996 (20 cars, including 19 seats plus Giovanni Lavaggi). But with 29 seats, people like Nyck de Vries would not need a miracle to get a shot or an opportunity.

      And once again I praise Red Bull program and policy for giving opportunities to people like Brendon Hartley to show their talent, because no other team would do it. With 29 or 39 seats, it would be easier.

    3. Just as surprising to me is that only 2 of those 10 entries from nearly 30 years are still in F1. Which means the other 8 entries are all related to operations which began even longer ago. Even the “upstarts” Red Bull were born from a team that started 25 years ago.

      It’s not easy to get a solid foothold in F1.

  4. Why is BrawnGP/Mercedes not considered as a new entry in this list?

    1. @macademianut For the same reason Aston Martin (previously Racing Point, Force India, Spyker, Midland and 1991 entrant Jordan) and Alfa Romeo (previously Sauber, BMW Sauber and 1993 entrant Sauber) don’t: they pre-date those on this list. Mercedes rebranded Brawn, Brawn rebranded Honda, Honda rebranded BAR, BAR rebranded Tyrrell.

      1. Aston Martin (previously Racing Point, Force India, Spyker, Midland and 1991 entrant Jordan)

        That’s wrong, btw. Aston Martin is merely the second name for Racing Point. But Racing Point and all the other team names you mentioned are separate entities, the original Jordan entry ending with Force India being shut down.

        I know F1 fudged all that to keep Mr Stroll racing with his magical new entry, but I feel there is a line to be drawn here between the continuous entries under changing names and the Force India / Racing Point situation.

      2. Ah ok. Thanks.

      3. @keithcollantine This is perhaps somewhat academic, but as @proesterchen notes Racing Point didn’t continue from Force India. Racing Point merely bought Force India’s assets after its parent company had been put into administration by the UK’s High Court. Investors led by Stroll of the so-called Racing Point group were unable to purchase the Force India company outright as various parties held claims that couldn’t be swiftly resolved. Racing Point was thus a ‘new’ team, and the 2018 season technically had 11 teams competing, with Force India stopping after Hungary, thereby voiding all constructor points, and what later became Racing Point starting at he Belgian Grand Prix.

        1. There’s a ‘new’ team and then there’s a new team

    2. Mercedes bought Brawn GP, which took over Honda Racing F1’s entry, which was previously BAR’s entry, which they in turn bought from Tyrrell.

  5. It would be very proper to have “Number of seasons raced” for each of those team.

    Also, that Pacific PR01 is an amazingly beautiful car.

  6. I count Lola! Such a great livery. Shame about the car…

  7. Great article. I didn’t know much about Lola, Forti, Pacific and Simtek before this. Didn’t the original team Lotus and Larrouse went broke around the same time Pacific, Simtek and Forti entered F1?

    1. Strongly recommend listening to the podcast Bring Back V10s. There are a couple of episodes based on some of the minnows of the time. Andrea Moda and Lola are definitely worth a listen.

  8. The 2010 entries had the underpowered, designed and delivered in just 9 months Cosworth CA2010 forced upon them aswell as the disappeared budget cap.

    The Toyota(s) had (among the many) issues with always being too heavily built and stiff. Mika Salo has mentioned on interviews that chasing a lap curbing with them was impossible, as the car would just bounce high and land and keep bouncing

  9. The sad part about reading this article is most of these cars never appeared in my TV screen. Every team that enters a race should have a car appear in the broadcast.

    1. I think things are better in that respect now. Go back as little as 10-15 years, and the directors were only interested in the first few cars in the field, even if there was a ding dong battle further back.

      How many times did we watch Schumacher’s Ferrari lap the circuit whilst ignoring fights for 15th?

      1. @bradders Yes, you are right! Things changed for the better when Liberty Media took over.

  10. Thanks for the article. Could we perhaps have more F1 history articles? They are particularly interesting.

    Personally, I think all these teams have contributed massively to Formula 1. It was great having the extra battle at the back between Caterham, Marussia and HRT at the start of the 2010s, and the brief moments that they stood out were particularly exciting. Narain Karthikeyan running in the top six for half a lap for HRT in Malaysia 2012 springs to mind, as does Giedo van der Garde finishing third in Q1 in Spa 2013 for Caterham, Jules Bianchi finishing ninth in Monaco 2014, Bianchi and Chilton very briefly making it a Marussia 1-2 towards the end of Q1 in Silverstone 2014. Having three teams at the back for everyone to root for, hoping they would make Q2 or score a point, was a big highlight of the early 2010s. I would like to see three teams added to the grid in 2026, and if they are competitive, then that would be great, but if not, they will still certainly add value to the sport.

    1. I think Haas added much more value to the sport than these 3 backmarkers. They were always changing drivers randomly. Only Kovalainen, D’Ambrosio, Ericsson, Wehrlein, Ocon, Ricciardo and Senna made it to a team higher up the grid after driving for these 3 backmarkers. Kovalainen and D’Ambrosio had 3 very forgettable outings for Lotus F1. Ericsson was just there and never reached even double digits on points. Wehrlein is the same. Senna got a proper shot in 2012 in a good team but he was out of his depth. Ocon and Ricciardo are the only success stories. Even those 2 drove for only half a season for these backmarkers.

      1. You’ve just highlighted a big part of the value of those teams to F1 – to provide a training and sorting ground for those who are ready to move up the grid. A step on the ladder, if you like.
        What has Haas done in that regard? They are really only in F1 to put their owner’s name on TV.
        And outside of the drivers, plenty of other F1 team staff need a place to gain experience too…

        Oh, and Ricciardo’s ‘success story’ wasn’t really dependent on his performance at HRT. Red Bull were just buying him a bit of experience prior to his inevitable Toro Rosso gig.

        ‘Value’ doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with results.

        1. The ones who moved up from the 3 backmarkers weren’t a success story apart from Ricciardo and Ocon. And even those two spent very little time in those teams and didn’t need it like you said. While Haas always have well regarded drivers apart from 2021 and constantly take it to the other teams. Magnussen even finished P9 in 2018.

          1. The ones who moved up from the 3 backmarkers weren’t a success story apart from Ricciardo and Ocon.

            Right, so those teams ‘weeded out’ the ones who weren’t up to it… Which just happened to be most of them.

            And even those two spent very little time in those teams and didn’t need it like you said.

            Although it did give them additional time and experience in F1 to learn without the pressure of a bigger team.
            Several highly talented drivers have been overloaded by the pressure when thrust into a top team in the past (including Magnussen himself) – entering in a smaller team can avoid that and give them time to grow into their role.

            Regardless, the drivers make up only a very small part of a race team…

  11. Nice overview, thanks. The Toyota F1 story is still awaiting a good book. It was such as massive operation, and it accomplished very little. While it’s fair to say Toyota also never won at Le Mans while having to compete with Porsche and Audi, they were still competitive even if they didn’t manage to win.

    1. In fairness to Toyota F1 – they weren’t really ‘in’ the political club like their equally well-financed counterparts.
      F1 has proven time after time that getting what you want off the track assists greatly in raising your performance and success on it.

      Pretty common of many Japanese international motorsporting pursuits really. They tend to do their best to play the game, rather than put too much energy in trying to change it to suit them.

      1. That would be the same Toyota team that became famous for cheating when competing in rallying, and was also caught cheating in the WEC multiple times?

        1. One person’s cheating is another’s finding the limits…. And you don’t ever really know where the limit is until you exceed it.

          That’s quite different to actually getting the rules changed to exploit your strengths and expose your rivals weaknesses.

  12. Simtek and New. I have never heard those two words together as I wasn’t even born back then. I think for F1 has snoozed too much. For heavens sake. Simtek in a list as a newest teams.. I hope this is just a fever dream but I’m afraid it isn’t. Where are the new teams?!

    1. Where are the new teams?!

      Unfortunately, the current teams have the power to reject them.

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