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