New F1 teams set to face strong resistance as key deadline looms large

Thomas Maher
Mohammed ben Sulayem talking to Michael Andretti. Miami May 2022.

Mohammed ben Sulayem talking to Michael Andretti on the grid. Miami May 2022.

The deadline for the application of potential new Formula 1 entrants comes over the Azerbaijan Grand Prix weekend.

The FIA’s invitation for applications from potential new Formula 1 teams, which opened for entries back in February, comes to an end on April 30th.

The goal is to find a new team, or possibly two, in order to join the sport in 2025 or 2026. The current Concorde Agreement, which allows up to 12 teams to take part in F1, expires at the conclusion of 2025, with a new Agreement needing to be thrashed out for ’26.

The FIA are set to make a decision on any applicants for entry by June 30th.

What teams have applied to enter F1?

A Michael Andretti-led entry, in partnership with General Motors’ Cadillac brand, has submitted a formal application to enter into Formula 1, with the Andretti family making it clear they are ready and willing as soon as 2024 should they get the green light.

However, Andretti have been met with significant resistance from the current F1 field, leading Mario Andretti to comment on the situation in an exclusive interview with

“We’ve done everything ‘the system’ has asked, including bringing General Motors, the biggest US manufacturer,” he said back in February.

“A giant of a manufacturer making a long-term commitment. Of course, we’re going to talk about it – because it’s big news. If others are less vocal, maybe it’s because they have nothing exciting to share.

“We’ve been told clearly, all along, if we have a manufacturer, it’s a different story. So GM should be a game changer. We’ll continue to fight for a place in F1. Every aspect of it. We’ve followed protocol, we have absolutely respected the process now for over a year, we’ve met the requirements, we’ve brought the manufacturer and we’re excited.”

Hitech GP, star team in the junior categories, are also believed to have lodged a formal entry application.

Hong Kong billionaire Calvin Lo is also understood to be interested in entering Formula 1, although the nature of his potential entry isn’t quite clear – whether Lo intends to partner with an existing team or spring for an entirely new entry.

“For any new team, Asia, or anywhere outside of Europe, is making the pie bigger,” Lo told in December 2022.

“At least from my point of view, Asia is demanding more F1. Just watching the TV, there’s a 30 or 40% increase in subscribers just because of F1. So for sure, Asia is a huge market.

“I think that is making the pie bigger for everyone. Different players coming into the F1 grid is always better, right? I don’t care whether it’s going to be a top team or the bottom team, but just mix it. Mix it up a little bit. It’s good for everyone up and down the pit lane.”

“The majority of races are [in Europe] and all the brightest people who are trained since school come from Europe. So any team should be there.

“You see many of the teams that used to have other outfits in other parts of the world, ultimately, went back to to Europe, specifically the UK. So I think to be realistic, it has to be somewhere in Europe.” recommends

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Former BAR CEO Craig Pollock has also expressed a proposal to enter a team project Formula Equal from 2026 onwards, with the intention being to hire a workforce of 50% male and 50% female staff.

Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali spoke about the entry process coming to a close when he spoke with Sky Sports News over the Australian GP weekend: “Some people would like to be very vocal, some others are less vocal.

“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, the first step is that the FIA will make an analysis and the second will be done by the commercial [rights holders] – there 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.”

Why is there resistance to new team entries?

The reason there has been significant resistance from the existing teams is that, while they would benefit in the short-term because the new teams’ $200 million anti-dilution entry fee would be divided between them, the overall prize money fund would take a dip from having more teams in the pool.

With the new Concorde Agreement needing to be finalised for 2026 onward, some of the teams are understood to be interested in seeing the entry fee raised to $600 million dollars, arguing that they would be left worse off and that the current regulations don’t take into account the sport’s huge growth in recent years.

“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.”

Guenther Steiner, team boss of Haas, has been one of the most vocal about ensuring new teams meet all the criteria the teams and F1 desire.

“I mean an 11th team joining, first of all, is not up to me to decide and it’s not up to the teams to decide,” he told

“It’s down to the FIA at the end of the day. But my opinion is that, if you cannot see an upside for everybody, why would you do it? Because then it’s a downside. If they’re not adding to the party it’s not worth it.

“I mean, there’s now 10 very strong teams in Formula 1. There is no weak team anymore. There’s no backmarker. Everybody’s financially stable, so we don’t really need one. If somebody comes and gives us an upside, all of us, I think we would welcome them. But if it is just to have more teams for the sake of it, I think why would I vote for it to get less in return in the future?

“I don’t want to speak for the other teams, but I would say their opinion is very similar. We are all in the same boat when it comes to the business side of F1.”