What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (2023)

We’re a step closer to enjoying a larger Formula 1 field in the near future following the news that the FIA is planning to allow prospective teams to declare an interest in joining F1.

At the moment it’s just a proposal made by FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem on Twitter but it could mark the start of a process that would ultimately expand the grid beyond the current 10 teams.

But who F1 be trying to attract? New manufacturers? Plucky independents? Or is it better off just sticking with 10 teams it has?

Our writers give their verdict:

F1 should aim for 26 cars – but only with credible additions

Edd Straw

What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (1)

F1’s recent success will attract endless chancers eager for a piece of the action, just as it did in the late 1980s and early 90s when a string of questionable teams attempted to break into grand prix racing. Some were credible, although few of those survived, while others were fantasists – or worse. While this produced some wonderful stories, it doesn’t work with today’s model.

Today, F1’s landscape is very different. The combination of the financial regulations, the 2021 Concorde Agreement and F1’s economic growth means the 10 teams should, after years of the majority struggling, not only be on rock-solid financial ground but also be worth serious cash. There’s talk of a time when every F1 team could be a billion-dollar asset and competitive on track.

A bigger F1 grid would only give drivers false hope

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But that stability does require control, which is why it’s necessary to set a high bar for entry. So the answer to the question is simple; F1 should be looking to grant an entry to any credible organisation that can prove it has the prodigious funding required and is willing to spend it should be allowed an entry. That includes a willingness to invest in F1 as a whole by adding something beyond just a couple of cars on the grid.

That there will be vanishingly few entities capable of fulfilling the criteria will ensure only those capable of genuinely adding to F1 will make it. That’s as it should be and will mean that even finding another couple of workable teams is no foregone conclusion.

(Video) Why a new F1 team suddenly looks more likely

F1 should aim for a capacity grid, which according to Article 8.2 of the sporting regulations is a healthy 13 two-car operations. What stands in the way of that is the risk the existing teams will want to wall off F1 completely through self-interest.

Therefore, it’s logical for there at least to be some formalised process to ensure the door of what risks being a closed shop is left ajar.

Allowing F1 to stagnate would be a mistake. Allowing in the right aspirants – if they make a compelling case – will be to everyone’s benefit and further drive F1’s growth.

Lure in a big brand

Glenn Freeman

What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (3)

Let’s go big: the next new F1 team should be a manufacturer entry. The landscape has changed beyond recognition since the last manufacturer boom/bust cycle in F1. With the cost cap in place, running an F1 team should no longer be the financial black hole it was in the first decade of the 21st century.

Ford, Porsche, Andretti? F1’s leading new team contenders

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It’s still a massive ask to start something from scratch, particularly if you’re talking about setting up a team and an engine project to go with it. But this is a chance for a new entry to bring some prestige to the F1 grid.

There are two leading candidates who have a slight head start. Honda has recent enough engine experience and an ongoing toe-in-the water via its Red Bull connection that it could turn its lingering interest in the 2026 engine regulations into a full-blown manufacturer entry (or maybe just buy AlphaTauri). It must bug some of the high-ups in Japan to see all the success Mercedes has got out of the Brackley operation that was Honda’s last attempt at a works team.

Alternatively, there’s Porsche. If an awkward deal can be struck internally at the VW Group to run a badged Audi engine, then Porsche doesn’t even need to commit to a team-and-engine combo. It can use what must have been a sizeable chunk of money that was set aside to buy into 50% of all of Red Bull’s F1 operations to go it alone.

Manufacturers can be fickle

Gary Anderson

What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (5)

Opening up the entry list to prospective new entrants could have a negative impact on the existing teams. If a new team comes in, with immediate effect the existing ones become worth less. However, given the need to pay an ‘anti-dilution’ fee of $200million as well as finding the operation budget of $140million, plus the vast sums needed beyond that cost cap baseline figure, this is dream money to most racing teams as we know them.

(Video) Our verdict on the controversial end to the 2021 Formula 1 season

It would be great to see a successful team from Formula 2 climb the ladder to F1, or an operation from another top series stepping up. Jordan and then Sauber were the last to take on that risk successfully, Haas was the latest but it is a different case as it’s reliant on its technical partnership with Ferrari. The fact they are all still in F1, one way or another, shows it is possible.

As for works teams, the problem with them is that they come and go. For car manufacturers, there are difficult times ahead with the more or less global requirement for non-fossil fuel cars. To comply with that, any spare cash that a car company has needs to be spent wisely on future road car development.

There is no easy solution to the challenge of getting more cars on the grid. Andretti has been making noises for a long time, so now we will see if it is all talk or if it really is prepared to put it all at risk.

A Jordan equivalent

Matt Beer

What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (6)

The technical and resource gulf between being a successful junior single-seater team and a successful F1 team is so vast that there’s really no point in the likes of Prema, Carlin or MP Motorsport aspiring to get on the grand prix grid in their own right. Drivers, personnel and even team bosses (two of F1’s top three squads are now led by people who made their names running top teams on the F1 ladder – Christian Horner at Red Bull and Fred Vasseur at Ferrari) can dream of promotion, but there’s no upward mobility for a Formula 2 team itself.

The day Jordan’s F1 title dream soared then died

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And while it’s easy to say that this is because of how rarefied modern F1 has become in parallel with junior series all going single-make and zero-development over recent decades, there’s actually barely any history of teams successfully rising into F1 in their own right. But there’s plenty of history of leading junior teams pulling together F1 programmes then being humiliated and destroyed when they got there (see Pacific, Forti and more recently Manor), or of trying but not even making it onto the grid (see the very, very angular unraced DAMS F1 car of 1995).

That makes the few success stories all the more special. Jordan is the obvious one, and Stewart counts too even if the fact it arrived as a Ford works partner gave it a head start over most other F3/F3000 graduate teams.

If the F1 paddock doesn’t feel IndyCar frontrunner Andretti offers enough value to be worth adding to the grid then there’s zero case for giving F2 champion team MP or its main rivals a shot even if they had the resources. Yet as F1 embraces its feeder series more and more in the current era, the fact it’s impossible for F2/F3 teams to dream of becoming an F1 team one day feels like a (frankly very Netflix-friendly) storyline going to waste.

Time for Andretti to put up or shut up

Scott Mitchell-Malm

What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (8)

If the FIA does formally open an entry process for a new team to join the Formula 1 grid, it is time for the Andretti family to put up or shut up.

While that might seem a bit blunt, it’s intended to reflect how many of F1’s stakeholders will feel about easily the most vocal prospective entrant over the past 12 months or so.

(Video) How Audi's F1 team takeover will work + latest on Porsche's plans

The Andrettis have taken an unusually public approach with their declarations of interest in an F1 team, a strategy that backfired once already with how it hurt negotiations with Sauber in late 2021 and definitely put noses out of joint among F1 stakeholders in 2022 as well.

That approach to a would-be Andretti Global team in 2024 has been unorthodox from the start and has perhaps undermined the basic headline points around such an entry that are really impressive: the strength of the Andretti name, the experience of racing in various series (especially IndyCar), the suggestion of an engine deal already lined up in principle, and the commitment to build a new headquarters in the United States.

Quiz: Every team-mate to an Andretti in F1

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These things could, maybe should, combine to make Andretti a perfectly legitimate option for a new F1 team that, as so many senior figures in the championship have stressed is necessary, brings extra value on and off the track.

Though the Andrettis have claimed to have submitted documents to the FIA, it’s never been disclosed what they’ve sent, to whom, or why, given there has been no entry process open.

With that potentially changing, the Andrettis will need to put all their cards on the table. That can include the financial commitment that will underpin such a team, an outline of its ambitions and a timeline for when that can be achieved. F1 and the FIA want serious and ambitious contenders but need them to be realistic as well. There’s no use having an 11th that crashes and burns in just a few years,whatever the reason for that.

In theory, it would be a massive benefit for F1 to get another well-funded, long-term American project attached to a name like Andretti. So far, the refusal to open up the entry process has meant that’s been all talk.

Maybe that can finally change.

How about a credible legacy project?

Sam Smith

What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (10)

Imagine a Prema-Lotus, ART-Ligier or United Autosports-Lola team on the Formula 1 grid in 2026. A mix of the old and the new, of F1’s heritage and its future.

It might seem fanciful and it might seem idealistic but it’s happened before. March was reborn via Leyton House (pictured above) in 1987, while the Lotus came back in the last decade – although that one was a bit more complicated!

Even outside of F1 some of the old familiar names are reappearing. Vanwall could be seen at Le Mans later this year, Lola began a third epoch last June when bought by IMSA racer Till Bechtolsheimer and Ligier has long since been providing LMP3 and LMP2 cars in endurance racing.

(Video) The significance of Andretti’s blockbuster new Cadillac F1 bid

Formula 1 is becoming increasingly zeitgeisty, especially with the success of Drive to Survive and the character-led development of young drivers such as Charles Leclerc, Lando Norris and of course Max Verstappen.

Perhaps that might mitigate against looking back too far into its own history. But as my colleague Matt Beer argues, some of yesteryear’s memories still resonate strongly, to the point where retro-chic actually could become commercially viable once again.

Reality dictates it’s unlikely to happen but perhaps if FIA president Ben Sulayem’s recent proclamations are backed up by actions it will stand a better chance of surprising us all.

What a story it would be if a great old name and its legacy could be modernised for a whole new generation to enjoy.

Another independent team, please

Jack Cozens

What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (11)

This suggestion appears to be at odds with what The Race understands to be F1’s position on what its next team should look like, but I’ll say it anyway: the best fit in my opinion would be another independent outfit.

As Gary Anderson points out, manufacturer interest waxes and wanes over time. Sure, Mercedes has been unwavering in its commitment since joining and Renault, either side of the Lotus era, has stuck around, but you don’t have to look far past that to recall the exits of Honda, Toyota, and BMW in a relatively small window for relatively similar reasons. Automotive market trends shift and those are still going to have a big impact on a manufacturer’s plans, regardless of F1’s boom in popularity.

Setting out robust criteria for entry with a high threshold for proof of solvency is an absolute must. But an independent can surely meet any such demands.

That independent doesn’t necessarily have to be Andretti, but let’s take that case given it appears to have an advanced idea of what it wants to do among prospective entrants. It’s the sort of prestigious name that would add to F1, and the fact it has a Renault engine supply deal lined up would offer the Alpine/Renault entity a performance incentive and for F1 would increase the chance of a longer-term commitment from not one but two parties – that applies for any supplier-privateer combination too.

The cost cap should in theory help to reduce the field spread, so if that’s left to do its work there’s every chance a new team can succeed regardless of any manufacturer’s clout.

If that process is handled correctly, surely it’s no fantasy to believe a new independent would be at least capable of competing at the current level of a Haas or a Williams.

F1 might not be ready for this just yet

Ben Anderson

What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race (12)

This looks like a pure fishing exercise by the FIA, and I’m sure we’ll soon learn of some outlandish plans once the process formally begins, but it seems a bit soon to be heading down this road – especially when F1 itself has been pretty emphatic about needing to protect the existing franchises.

The current commercial terms, in step with budget capping, are all about making sure F1 has 10 properly healthy and competitive teams turning out two cars each for every race. Unless you’re absolutely sure the existing grid is on a completely sure footing, what’s the point of trying to dilute the pool?

Of course F1 fans would like to see more (competitive) cars and drivers on the grid, but if it means smaller teams like Haas and Williams get pitched back into a battle for survival then the purpose will defeat the object and F1 will be no better off. No one wants a return to late-2014, when the grid dropped to 18 cars as various teams faced financial ruin.

Outfits like Haas, Williams, even Sauber (while it waits for Audi’s cash injection) are still working their way up towards F1’s budget cap, so F1’s competitive and commercial utopia is still some way off. There’s also the question of F1’s push to secure more manufacturer entries ahead of the new engine rules for 2026, and Stefano Domenicali’s stated desire that existing teams be bought out and secured before any completely new ones enter the fray.

(Video) Let's Look Behind a Real Human Liver

Surely it’s best for the FIA and F1 to make sure its current house is in perfect order before anyone starts trying to invite more guests to the party.

Andretti livery by TommyWTF1, F1 2022 car 3D model by Chris Paul Design/Unkredible Studios


What sort of new teams should F1 target? Our verdict - The Race? ›

There are several factors that determine a team's success in F1. The most obvious one is the number of championships won. However, there are other factors to consider, such as the number of wins, podium finishes, and pole positions. Another important factor is the team's longevity and consistency over the years.

What teams are trying to get into F1? ›

The FIA is seeking new F1 teams: who should join the grid?
  • Andretti. F1 is exploding in the US right now, and with three races on American soil coming up in 2023 it makes sense that its presence on the grid grows too. ...
  • Porsche. ...
  • Ford. ...
  • Lotus. ...
  • Gordon Murray Automotive. ...
  • Rosberg X Racing. ...
  • Tesla. ...
  • Netflix.
Jan 4, 2023

What makes a great F1 team? ›

There are several factors that determine a team's success in F1. The most obvious one is the number of championships won. However, there are other factors to consider, such as the number of wins, podium finishes, and pole positions. Another important factor is the team's longevity and consistency over the years.

How do F1 teams decide strategy? ›

The team will enter a race with a good baseline on things like tyre degradation curves, pit stop loss, weather predictions, ease of overtaking and much more, but the tools are continuously being retuned and refined as fresh data appears, allowing the strategy team to predict what is going to happen.

What do F1 teams get for winning a race? ›

Nowadays, the top team receives 14% of the total prize pot, whereas the bottom team receives 6% of it. Previously, the top team used to receive 20% and the bottom team received only 4%. This agreement is locked in until January 2025.

Are Porsche joining F1? ›

Porsche still retains an interest in F1, but it will not have an entry or affiliation with a team in the medium term.

What new teams are going to be in F1 2025? ›

F1: Carlin and LKY SUNZ announce plans to join F1 grid by 2025.

Who is the main strategist at Red Bull F1? ›

Hannah Schmitz - Principal Strategy Engineer - Red Bull Racing & Red Bull Technology | LinkedIn.

Who makes race decisions in F1? ›

Stewards in F1 are responsible for some of the most talked-about decisions in F1, but who are they, what do they do and how are they chosen? Find out all that and more here. Formula 1 stewards often find themselves making headlines when they've been forced to hand out penalties that haven't gone down well with fans.

What is the F1 race strategist? ›

What Is F1 Strategy? Many people associate this with the call to pit and the choice of which tires to fit, and they would be correct! The aim of the strategists during a race is to optimize a specific car and set it against the competition to ensure that the car finishes in the highest possible position.

Can you win F1 without winning a race? ›

Has any driver won a championship without ever winning a race? The short answer is 'no'. But that would be a boring answer so I'll elaborate: Only two drivers have won a world championship while only winning a single race.

Which F1 race pays the most? ›

Qatar pays $55 million per year for its contract, which is the highest amount on the list of contract costs.
F1 Grand Prix circuit contracts.
Hosting fee ($)55 million
Contract ends2031
CommentFrom 2023 onwards
24 more columns
Jan 24, 2022

What is the most positions gained to win an F1 race? ›

In an actual Grand Prix, the record for most places gained is 26, by Roberto Mieres in the 1954 British Grand Prix on his way to a sixth place finish.

What is the main goal of F1? ›

The objective of a Formula 1 contest is to determine the winner of a race. The driver who crosses the finish line first after completing a pre-determined number of laps is declared the winner.

Why was Mercedes so dominant in F1? ›

Not only was Mercedes' car and engine package reliable, its power unit was vastly different to Ferrari's and Renault's units in one key area. Mercedes split their turbocharger in half, putting the intake turbine and the compressor at opposite ends of the engine and connecting them with a long shaft.

Is F1 more about the driver or car? ›

The car without question is more important than the driver in F1. Like Lando Norris said about Hamilton winning a record-equalling seventh world title, having a car which is the class of the field means you only have to beat your teammate.

Who are Audi replacing F1? ›

Audi will take part in the 2026 Formula One season via a joint partnership with Sauber. 2026 will be a huge year for F1 with new engine regulations, but also a new name as Audi joins the sport for the first time.

Is Alfa Romeo leaving F1? ›

Alfa Romeo has a title sponsorship contract with the Sauber F1 team until the end of 2023. From 2026, Sauber will be owned by Audi, with the Alfa deal coming to an end, but because of the successful partnership, Alfa Romeo does not rule out remaining in F1.

Will Lamborghini join F1? ›

Lamborghini is similar to Ferrari, and people associate Ferrari and F1 after 70 years of competition. But surprisingly, Lamborghini does not compete in Formula 1 nor has any plans to in the future.

Will there be a US F1 team? ›

Guenther Steiner explained the growing excitement for America's presence in the sport and the plan for continued improvement in Haas. AUSTIN, Texas — Following an explosive 2022 Formula 1 (F1) season, the American-led MoneyGram Haas F1 Team is hoping for consistency and improvement going into the new season.

Why is Tesla not in F1? ›

The implication is that an investment in an EV racing program would not translate to better passenger cars or manufacturing improvements, a lack of technology transfer that Audi AG and BMW AG have cited as a rationale for quitting Formula E.

Who will supply new engines to F1 in 2026? ›

Alpine, Audi, Ferrari, Honda, Mercedes, and Red Bull in partnership with Ford successfully completed the registration process for the next generation of engines. Formula One's governing body confirmed the six engine providers for the 2026-30 cycle on Friday which aims to use sustainable fuels and greater electric power ...

Who is the female F1 strategist? ›

Ruth Buscombe (born 21 December 1989) is a British strategy engineer for the Alfa Romeo Racing Formula One team. A first class honours graduate of the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering, she began working in Formula One with Scuderia Ferrari at its headquarters in 2012 as a race strategist.

What nationality is Hannah Schmitz? ›

How much does an F1 engineer earn? ›

The salaries of F1 engineers can vary widely depending on their experience and level of expertise. Junior engineers may earn around $50,000 per year, while senior engineers can earn well over $100,000 per year. In some cases, top-level engineers may earn even more than this.

How much do F1 marshals make? ›

How much does a Track Marshal make? As of May 7, 2023, the average annual pay for a Track Marshal in the United States is $45,519 a year.

Is Lewis Hamilton an engineer? ›

Lewis Hamilton MBE HonFREng

This success is fuelled by a relentless pursuit of excellence, the hallmark of an engineer. While the fuel of his success may be his pursuit of excellence, the foundation of his accomplishments is engineering.

Can F1 drivers practice between races? ›

Simulators. With F1 banning private testing in 2009, teams needed another way to get extra practice on tracks outside of race weekends. Welcome, simulators. Simulators are exactly what they sound like--they simulate the race conditions that drivers will experience at any given race track.

Who is the chief race strategist for Ferrari? ›

Ravin Jain replaces Spaniard Inaki Rueda at Scuderia Ferrari F1 as the head of its race strategy and has been handpicked for promotion by the new team principal, Fred Vasseur. Indian-origin engineer Ravin Jain has been appointed as the new Head of Strategy for Ferrari's F1 team.

Who is the race strategist with McLaren racing? ›

Randeep Singh - Director, Strategy & Sporting - McLaren Racing | LinkedIn.

Who makes strategy decisions for Ferrari F1? ›

Inaki Rueda joined Ferrari as head of race strategy at the end of 2014 and adopted a sporting title as well in 2021. But for 2023, Ravin Jain will be in charge of trackside strategy for Ferrari with Rueda working from Maranello supporting the team in a sporting role.

What is the least drivers to finish an F1 race? ›

Monaco holds the all-time record in the modern F1 era for the least number of cars to finish a race. Only four cars saw the chequered flag at Monaco in both 1966 and 1996. Olivier Panis in a Ligier was the unlikely and popular winner of 1996's race of attrition.

What is the fewest people to finish an F1 race? ›

Race records
Fewest finishers (classified)41966 Monaco Grand Prix (16 starters)
Most finishers242011 European Grand Prix (24 starters)
Most pit stops882011 Hungarian Grand Prix
Fewest pit stops01961 Dutch Grand Prix 2021 Belgian Grand Prix
50 more rows

Is F1 harder than NASCAR? ›

Driving rules are more complicated in F1, drivers are required to keep track of a lot more track based information then drivers in NASCAR. NASCAR cars are a lot simpler to drive, they are less technically complex, NASCAR has fewer rules and a different form of driver etiquette.

What teams will join the F1 team 2023? ›

Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull and McLaren have two contracted drivers for 2023. With Sebastian Vettel retiring and Fernando Alonso replacing him we can also assume that Aston Martin's line-up is also established, as it remains unlikely that the team, owned by Lawrence Stroll, will sack his son, Lance.

What teams are joining F1 in 2026? ›

In 2026, the power unit regulations will be changed with the likes of Audi and Ford, via a Red Bull tie-up, already signed up with the prospect of further entries to join Alpine Racing, Ferrari S.p.A, Honda Racing Corporation and Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains Ltd.

Is Volkswagen joining F1? ›

Volkswagen has finally come out and officially announced that they will participate in Formula 1 starting in 2026. The German automaker will introduce no less than two car brands to the sport starting that year; Audi and Porsche.

What team turned into Red Bull F1? ›

The current Red Bull team can trace its origins back to the Stewart Grand Prix outfit that made its debut in 1997. Jackie Stewart sold his team to the Ford Motor Company late in 1999, and Ford made the decision to rebrand the team Jaguar Racing with little subsequent success over the next five years.

Who is Audi replacing in F1? ›

“This is an important milestone on the way to Audi's entry in Formula One, scheduled for 2026, for which the Sauber Group will be the German brand's strategic partner,” Sauber said in a statement. Sauber will run with Ferrari power units in 2024 and 2025, before Audi steps in.

What is the Red Bull F1 team in 2023? ›

Oracle Red Bull Racing is the first top Formula 1 team to unveil its official car for the 2023 season. Team manager Christian Horner, world champion Max Verstappen, teammate Sergio Pérez and well-known newcomer Daniel Ricciardo were all present at the launch in New York.

Will there ever be a new team in F1? ›

Formula One's governing body, the FIA, has officially opened the application process for a new team to join the grid by 2025 at the earliest. With F1's worldwide popularity booming like never before, interest in joining the series is high.

Is Ford returning to Formula 1? ›

NEW YORK, Feb. 3, 2023 – After more than two decades, Ford is returning to Formula 1. The iconic American automaker and Red Bull Powertrains are entering into a longterm strategic technical partnership for the development of a next-gen hybrid power unit to be used from the 2026 Formula 1 season onward.

Will Toyota back to F1? ›

Japanese car manufacturer Toyota, which quit Formula 1 at the end of last year, has no intention whatsoever of returning to the series that is described as the “pinnacle of motorsport”.

Will Alfa Romeo leave F1? ›

Alfa Romeo has a title sponsorship contract with the Sauber F1 team until the end of 2023. From 2026, Sauber will be owned by Audi, with the Alfa deal coming to an end, but because of the successful partnership, Alfa Romeo does not rule out remaining in F1.


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