The FIA is officially seeking new F1 teams (sort of)
FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has announced that the governing body of F1 will invite suitors to lay out their plans for a new F1 team, in the first sign the sport could be open to expanding the current 10-team grid.
With the New Year fireworks still ringing in our ears, the president took to Twitter to say: “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.”
This is rather Big News, because until now the sport has resisted calls to increase the number of teams on the grid, for two main reasons.
Reason one: money. F1 is littered with failed outfits that didn’t have the cash to survive in F1, with Manor the most recent to go under back in 2016. The period of stability since then has been highly unusual for F1, historically speaking.
And reason two: also money. The teams generally aren’t keen on more competition for prize money earned in the constructors’ championship, hence why any new team would need to cough up a $200 million ‘anti-dilution fee’ under the current rulebook. Which is a pretty hefty entry fee, even for an exclusive club like F1.
The sport will welcome a new brand when Audi enters the fray in 2026, but it’s gone down the more sensible (read ‘financially prudent) path of buying out an existing entity; the Sauber team currently sponsored by Alfa Romeo.
But various figures have expressed an interest in going the whole nine yards by starting a team from scratch, most notably Michael Andretti, the former F1 driver and IndyCar champion whose Andretti Autosport team is synonymous with open-wheel racing on the other side of the Atlantic.
Who else do we want to see in F1, folks?
TEXT Joe Holding