Brown expects “three or four” applications for new F1 teams as deadline nears

2023 F1 season

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McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown predicts up to four potential new teams will submit applications to enter Formula 1.

The FIA announced in February it had begun a process for new teams to apply to enter the series in 2025, 2026 or 2027. The deadline for potential new entries to submit their paperwork expires at the end of this month.

“I think what’s come to light is that three or four teams are going to put forth entries,” Brown told the Associated Press. “I’d love to see the grid expand with the right terms and conditions.”

Details of some potential entrants have already come to light. IndyCar team owner and former Formula 1 driver Michael Andretti has long made known his desire to enter the series and in January revealed he had secured backing from Cadillac, one of American car-making giant General Motors’ brands.

“We know I’m a supporter of Michael and Cadillac and I think they’d be healthy for the sport,” Brown added. “I’m probably in the minority in that thinking.”

Last month former BAR F1 team principal Craig Pollock confirmed he is seeking a return to the grid with a new project named Formula Equal. He is rumoured to have attracted funding from Saudi Arabia for his ambitious proposal to create a team with a 50-50 split in gender representation.

Rumours concerning other potential applicants have surfaced since the FIA’s announcement. Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has repeatedly indicated other prospective new teams are considering entries.

“Today there’s so many that would like to come,” he said last week. “There are teams that are more vocal than others. Some others are much more silent, but they are really expressing their interest.”

Domenicali has previously said he sees no need to add further teams and in February claimed Andretti were “pushing the system” to get in by drawing attention to themselves through the media.

The submissions from the prospective new teams will be examined by F1 and the FIA, each of which has the power to reject any applicant. A maximum of two new entries may be selected, potentially increasing the number of cars on the grid from 20 to 24.

The FIA said it will judge the bids on “the overall long-term interests of the championship, together with the applicable regulations and governance arrangements.” Teams are expected to be updated on the likelihood of the grid expanding in the near future at a meeting of the Formula 1 Commission next week.

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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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22 comments on “Brown expects “three or four” applications for new F1 teams as deadline nears”

  1. Of course – we will see the old bait and switch “Yes certainly you may join F1, the fee is now $600 million though”

    1. Yeah, they are probably using these applicants to raise the price and rip someone off. In the end we get one new team at the very best, and probably the most boring choice. I really hope to be wrong though.

  2. It sure would be nice if F1 had a full grid of 26 cars. 20 is too few. Of course the new teams shouldn’t be mobile chicanes, but you can’t expect them to fight for points right away…

    1. “Mobile chicanes” – that’s a great term!

      I agree also, I’d love to see more cars on the grid. I’d love an equivalent of Minardi for example. They may have been at the back but their passion was clear.

      1. Most of us would like a team like Minardi, but that’s the last thing Liberty wants. Their ideal would be a team owned by Coca Cola or Apple, registered somewhere in Saudi Arabia, with strong ties with Vegas casinos; lead by people with business experience and without any interest in racing except the financial aspect. If possible, they would buy former Torro Rosso (Minardi) or Williams or something, so the prey is shared among fewer teams.

    2. I think the limit nowadays is 12 teams, so 24 cars.

      1. The current regulations still allow up to 26 cars on track.

    3. More than 20 is nice but really 20 is also enough. We already have people having trouble payinf attention to existing backmarkers as it is.

      1. We already have people having trouble payinf attention

        That’s about the correct length for that statement.
        But Gasly is due for a race ban soon anyway, maybe that will wake him up.

  3. AFAIK there are already four teams who have submitted an application. Andretti, Panthera Asia, Hitech GP and Formula Equal. And a possible fifth is in the pipeline according to billionaire Lo.

    1. No Stefan GP? That’s too bad

    2. @silfen I think you are possibly overestimating the number of teams there.

      Whilst you list Hitech GP, they’ve not confirmed that they have actually submitted an application yet. It’s only rumoured that they’ve submitted an “expression of interest” – i.e. formally informing the FIA they are interested in applying, but seemingly not submitting a full application yet.

      Meanwhile, Pollock’s Formula Equal hasn’t actually submitted an application yet – when he spoke about his project, he said that he was aiming to submit an application (i.e. something he intended to do at a future date).

  4. Would love to see new teams but the biggest road block is the existing teams who do not want to dilute their revenue pool and will use all of their political power to block them. I suspect Andretti resorted to not playing nice only because they were getting the cold shoulder otherwise. Its ridiculous that Andretti backed by Cadillac is having a hard time convincing F1 to let them in, they seem like a better prospect on paper than what Haas ever was (a team that got into F1 by openly claiming they were going to do it on the cheap by buying as much Ferrari stuff as possible).
    I really want to see some new teams, even if it does take some time for them to get up to speed. Events like Marussia scoring their first points with Bianchi at the wheel stand out as great achievements for these underdogs who often do not get given a fair run.

  5. I’d love to see the grid expand with the right t̶e̶r̶m̶s̶ ̶a̶n̶d̶ ̶c̶o̶n̶d̶i̶t̶i̶o̶n̶s̶ money.

    Apologies, mental autocorrect at work there.
    12 teams sounds ideal. 14 (if they changed the rules) would be more fun when someone from the front of the grid gets a full grid penalty. But realistically it would heavily affect the scrap for minor points, sponsorship and advertising (including based on live TV and media coverage of the cars).

  6. What will the 50/50 split actually be. Catering staff of all women and the rest men or one female driver and a split engineering staff?

  7. If they have more than 20 cars then maybe they need to upgrade the points system to cover more than 10 cars. My suggestion is places 11 to 19 for the cars that are classified as having completed the race receive the inverse of the points covering places 9 back to First (limited to 2 decimal places), so the 11th placed car gets the inverse of the points for 9th place, i.e. 1/2 point = 0.5; 12th placed car gets the inverse of 8th place, i.e. 1/4 point = 0.25; 13th = inverse 7th = 1/6 = 0.17; 14th = inverse 6th = 1/8 = 0.13; … 19th place gets inverse of First place = 1/25 points = 0.04 point.
    As an example of how this might work out is currently Lance Stroll and Carlos Sainz are both on 20 points, but Carlos was classified as finishing 12th at Melbourne, so under this system he’d have 20.25 points while Lance Stroll retired from the Saudi Arabian GP on lap 16, so there’d be no points for that since he wasn’t classified as having finished the race.
    My solution to what to do for situations when full points aren’t being awarded is to just not award points for places 11 through to 19.

    1. @drycrust The current points system was designed for a field of 24 or 26 cars, and is way too generous as things stand now that half the field are eligible for points. For backmarker teams, points should be difficult to come by – F1 is not and has never been about participation trophies.

      1. @red-andy absolutely correct. I’ve been watching Formula 1 for long enough that I remember when not only did the top 6 classified finishers receive the only points, but only the best 11 results of the season counted towards each driver’s total for the WDC (although all races counted for the WCC).
        There were also far more entrants back then as well.

        1. @red-andy, @nvherman, Maybe I’d agree with you if the teams weren’t paid for performance, but they are paid for performance. Half the money paid to teams is distributed evenly across the teams, but the other half is performance based, and moving a place up or down on the Constructors Championship is worth millions of dollars. The current point system gives a fairly good relationship between results and TV rights payout for those at the front of the grid because those cars are frequently in the points, but it doesn’t for the cars at the back of the grid because those are frequently ignored by the current point system.
          For example, currently both Williams and AlphaTauri are both on 1 point, but if the points system were to cover places 11 through to 19 then AlphaTauri would be ahead of Williams because the latter have had two retirements and seem to have averaged worse in their race results than AT have. Using the point system I suggested AT would be on 2.36 points while Williams would be on 1.41 points.

      2. I dont agree, id rather see the lower midfield fight harder in every race at all parts of the race, which i think they would if there were points in reach..

      3. There is absolutely nothing wrong with awarding points to all finishers.
        If you stop and think about it, it’s beneficial for everyone to see how every competitor is actually doing in the championship. That’s what points systems are for…

        The big teams will still always have the most points – it’s not like changing the points system is suddenly going to put the big 3 at risk of being overtaken in the championship by McLaren, Haas and Sauber.
        Add the fact that extra points for every place gives lower placed drivers something to fight for right up to the flag, and provides a disincentive to teams thinking about retiring the car with 3 laps to go.

  8. Graham Priestley
    21st April 2023, 13:57

    Let more join and make qualifying relevant. Only top 20 race. That would make it more exciting.

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