F1: Rating the new teams chances of getting approval to race in F1 (3rd Update)

–by Mark Cipolloni–

More information has come out about the Panthera Asia bid that we listed in our table below with a 10% chance of getting approved.

The prospective team says it has secured investment from United States-based sports fund Legends Advocates Sports Group, as well as from Asian sources with the plan being to set up base in South East Asia with the creation of a ‘state-of-the-art’ carbon-neutral facility.

Durand’s co-founders were also heavily involved in the Panthera bid, with chairman Paul Fleming and Andrew Pyrah both occupying senior roles in the long-standing effort to get the team onto the grid.

“We are excited to see our investors share our vision of fusing youth culture and racing to create a team that will disrupt Formula One,” said Durand.

“The sport’s popularity has grown exponentially and every current stakeholder in the sport has been responsible for that, but our guiding principle is to bring something different into the sport to appeal to new audiences.

“By being the only team operating outside the traditional F1 corridors and developing bespoke programs to attract talent from underrepresented communities, we can bring a diversity of thought yet to be seen in Formula One.

“We of course aim to be competitive on the track but we also commit to entertaining fans off the track. To support our plans, we have already onboarded an impressive team of motorsport executives, music and entertainment industry experts and creatives who will help bring this vision to life.”

The prospective team confirmed its confidence in hitting the FIA’s May deadline to submit their application.

None of these new stated goals impresses us as a team that F1 would set up its base in Asia, with zero F1 talent to pull from.  Everything discussed above is around marketing concepts, but can they really design and build cars that won’t be an embarrassment?

Now if Honda were to join their effort as the power unit supplier, that would change out rating below.

But based on these new quotes, we have kept our rating in the table below as a 10% chance this team will get approval.

April 30, 2023 

–by Mark Cipolloni–

Final proposals for any new team seeking entry into F1 was this Sunday, April 30th, but Michael Andretti indicated to us in Long Beach that the deadline was now May 15th.

F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali told Sky Sports F1: “The fact that F1 is attracting new potential teams and investors shows the status of F1 today. There is a process in place that is open, everyone can apply:

  1. The first step is that the FIA will make an analysis
  2. The second step will be done by the commercial [rights holders] –
  3. The third step will be a joint discussion. We will see what will be the outcome of it.

“It’s not about opposition (to more than 10 teams). It’s not a problem, it’s great stuff if it is bringing value to the championship in the medium to long term. That is the point that is always raised when we talk about this subject.”

Sky F1 pundits Martin Brundle and Karun Chandhok believe Formula 1 should be working to get back to 12 teams on the grid, provided that the new teams are credible and sustainable.

F1 has not had 12 teams since 2012 and the current 10 teams have made up the grid since 2017.

“I think F1 could well do with having 24 cars on the grid,” Brundle said.

“I think we need even more stories and characters, so I think F1 should work towards that.

“But they’ve got to be credible and of course the 10 incumbents don’t want their franchise values diluted or their prize money diluted.”

Chandhok feels the current 10 teams does not offer enough opportunities for young drivers to progress into F1.

He said: “I believe we should have 12 teams on the grid. I think there’s a bottleneck for drivers.

“I’m annoyed by the fact it took us this long to get Oscar Piastri and Nyck de Vries into F1, Felipe Drugovich is on the sidelines – these are three good, credible F2 champions who all deserve to graduate.

“And also, if Red Bull, for example, decide to pull out, you lose two teams, then what? You’re down to eight teams, that’s not very good.

“As a sport we’ve just got to make sure we don’t get caught with too few cars on the grid.

“So that’s why I’m a bit surprised by F1’s public stance against Andretti-Cadillac coming in. Andretti’s a great name, General Motors is a great manufacturer to have involved, and so what if it’s just a branding deal and they’re getting support or in a partnership with Alpine or Renault, so what?

April 6, 2023 

–by Mark Cipolloni–

The table below has been updated with some further intel about the Andretti Global facility in the UK.

It seems the team has come to its senses and is now going to build a bigger facility in the UK. Originally, we thought the European facility was just going to be for the traveling F1 team and the Andretti Formula E team.  Perhaps they have come to their senses and are going to put some of the design staff in UK.  If the Andrettis want to poach some of the best talent in F1 from other teams, they will need a place for them to work in the UK  as the chances they will relocate to Fishers, Indiana to work are low.

April 5, 2023 

–by Mark Cipolloni–

The FIA has opened up the application process for up to two new teams to enter F1.

A tentative deadline of April 30 has been set for formal applications to be lodged, with a fee of $300,000 required, and the FIA expects to make a decision on those applications by June 30. It stressed that in the event of no applicant being considered suitable by the FIA, and/or commercial rights holder Liberty Media, no new team will be selected.

Under the current Concorde Agreement—the deal which binds together the teams, the FIA and Formula 1 (Liberty Media)—any new team on top of the initial application fee also has to make a $200 million payment commonly known as the anti-dilution fee.

Several criteria have been laid out by the FIA who will ultimately decide, along with the Formula One Management group, if any of the applicants meet their requirements.

The application process will include aspects such as the technical ability and resources of the team, its ability to raise and maintain sufficient funding, and a detailed business plan for the first five years of its project.

They could reject all of them, choose one, but no more than two as the regulations only allow for a maximum of 12 teams and there are currently 10.

While the FIA has not announced who has applied, we do know some of them for certain, and the others are assumed.

Here is our attempt at who has the best odds of being accepted.  Let’s be clear, we have not seen their formal proposals, this analysis is purely based on what we perceive to know at this time.

There are four applicants that we know about, and there could be more, but so far, the FIA has been tight-lipped.

Team Team Headquarters Principals Financial Backing Power Unit Supplier Discussion % chance of acceptance
Andretti Global Fischer, Indiana and the Silverstone Park industrial estate in the UK. The UK location is just an interim solution pending a green light, at which point the team will start developing a bigger and better facility somewhere in the region. Michael and Mario Andretti  Dan Towriss – Group101 and Guggenheim Partners, a private equity firm Renault with help from  Cadillac. Would be badged a Cadillac engine. The Andrettis have been most vocal about wanting to enter a true ‘USA’ team in F1. Given the growing popularity of F1 in America today, this bolsters Andretti’s prospects.  The USA is the biggest car market in the world and F1 is pushing hard to expand their fanbase in the USA. The Andretti name is very popular with Americans and perhaps more well known than any other motorsports brand in America. Having an Andretti team in F1 would be a big boost to the series, as would the Cadillac brand. Andretti currently fields teams in IndyCar, Indy NXT, Formula E and Extreme E. Of the four applicants, they are the only ones who have announced an engine partner and they already have a Technical Director, Lead Aerodynamicist and a Carbon Fiber Engineer hired that we know about.  50%

Competition is stiff, but they appear to have the best chance of approval based on what we know.

EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion) Saudi Arabia Craig Pollock Saudi Arabia Oil Barron’s TBD The aim was to have a 50 percent split between males and females across the whole organization, from the cockpit to the engineers and the boardroom. Given the fact that F1 has four races in the Middle East, having a ‘Middle East’ Team that strives for gender equality has some real commercial appeal   25%

Basing a Team in Saudi Arabia will be difficult. Team has zero current racing experience, but they likely have the most financial backing of the four applicants. The Saudi Arabian Oil Barron’s are filthy rich and Pollock does have experience starting and running an F1 team – recall the BAR team backed by British American Tobacco that Jacques Villeneuve drove for. Pollock was replaced at the head of the team at the end of their third season of competition.

HiTech GP Silverstone UK Oliver Oakes Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin (rumored) TBD Although Russian oligarch Dmitry Mazepin is trying to remain low-key because the USA sanctions against Russia could preclude their application, he has long wanted to have his own F1 team.  Mazepin has no involvement with Russia’s war against Ukraine, but has been unfairly targeted by the FIA. Without Mazepin’s financial backing, Hitech’s chances may be slim  20%

Russians are currently unfairly sanctioned by the FIA. But the team will be put forward as British, not Russian. Currently race in F2, so they have good contacts with the F1 power brokers, and being 100% based in England gives them a leg up. 

Panthera Asia, now called LKY SUNZ South Korea Michel Orts, Benjamin Durand. Paul Fleming and Andrew Pyrah Hong Kong Billionaire Calvin Lo TBD. Possibly, Honda or Hyundai With a rumored F1 race coming in South Korea and Indonesia, and with races already in China and Japan, there is a desire by some in F1 to have an ‘Asia’ team  10%.

Team has zero current racing experience, and Calvin Lo has yet to publicly commit to backing the team financially. Basing a F1 team in South Korea will be difficult. If they get Honda to be part of their application, that will give them a significant boost, up to at least 25% chance. 



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