Formula 1 looks set to keep the status quo with “10 strong teams” on the 2021 grid after FIA president Jean Todt admitted they are yet to receive “strong contact” from a “solid team wishing to join”.
Haas are the last new team to make it onto the grid as they joined three years ago while the 2016 campaign was also the last time F1 had more than 10 teams as that was also the last season that Manor Racing / Marussia competed in.
There has been talk in recent months that Panthera Team Asia, led by Benjamin Durand, are interested in joining in 2021.
“We exist and we aim to apply to join F1 in 2021 if and when the FIA opens tenders,” Durand told Motorsport.com.
However, FIA boss Todt feels 10 is the magic number at the moment.
“At the moment the good thing is we have 10 strong teams which in a way gives a good value to each team, which is important,” he is quoted as saying by Motorsport.com. “They invest but still they have a strong asset in their hands. Then again it is a question of opportunity.
“At the moment we did not see any application of the level of Haas, for example, which was a new team. There are also possibilities some times like happened with Force India where you had Racing Point deciding to buy the team. So it all depends on the opportunities.
“At the moment we are happy in having 10 teams. Time will tell if things will change in the future, knowing that the good figure is between 10 and 12 teams.”
Asked about reports about specific new teams with Panthera Asia in mind, he said: “I will be careful. I don’t consider talks or gossip or things like that. I am concrete.
“At the moment I never heard, apart from some website talking about new teams, I never had any strong contact from a relevant solid team wishing to join F1.”