F1 Checklist for New Teams

F1 Checklist for New Teams

Over the years, 171 teams have raced in Formula 1. Only Ferrari has been there since the very first race in 1950. Now, with F1’s rising global popularity, more teams want in. Andretti seems to be on track to join in 2024. So, what’s in store for new teams looking to join?

How to become an F1 team?

First, you must apply to the FIA and cough up a $200 million entry fee (although there were rumors to raise it to $1 billion).

This application must be between October 21 and November 1 for the next season. If they give you the green light, you must design a car that fits FIA’s standards and choose two drivers for your team.

F1 Checklist for New Teams
Source: Planet F1

What is FIA checking in new teams?

According to their 2023 rules:

  • You’ve got to promise to play by their book.
  • Share your team’s name, car’s make, engine’s make, and your chosen drivers’ names (you can pick a driver later, but you’ll have to pay extra).
  • Pledge that you’ll race in every event with the number of cars and drivers you’ve listed.

The FIA will then take a close look at your application. They’ll check if you have the money, the team, the skills, and the facilities to make it in F1. Once you tick all their boxes, you’ve got to build a car that passes all their technical and safety checks.

Getting approval from F1 teams & Liberty Media

Getting the FIA’s nod is just the first hurdle; teams also need to win over Liberty Media and potentially the existing F1 teams.

Liberty’s franchise-like model means more stakeholders have a say, making the entry process more convoluted. It’s not just about meeting technical and sporting criteria; there’s also a commercial maze to navigate.

New teams must prepare to address these concerns upfront. They need:

  1. Solid financial backing
  2. A competitive edge
  3. A plan that aligns with the sport’s broader objectives

These are generic requests, we’re not yet sure what are the exact criteria and checkpoints.

What’s certain is that teams must woo Liberty Media by demonstrating how their presence will help grow the sport, grow the fanbase and all the commercial aspects of F1, all while not stepping on the toes of existing stakeholders.

How many new F1 teams can join in?

According to the 2023 regulations, only 26 cars are allowed on the grid, with 2 drivers per team.

So if new teams get the go-ahead to join, there’s gonna be a rush for those spots, especially if Andretti gets its application in by the end of 2023.

Recent New Teams in Formula 1

  1. Haas (2016)
    Still in F1? ✅ Yes.
    Highlights: Achieved points in their first two races. Last year secured their first pole position in Brazil.
  2. HRT (2010)
    Still in F1? ❌ No.
    Highlights: Faced challenges from the start; ceased operations after three years.
  3. Virgin (2010)
    Still in F1? ❌ No.
    Highlights: Initially struggled with their chassis. Rebranded as Marussia and scored some points. Sadly, faced tragic incidents and later went into receivership.
  4. Lotus (2010)
    Still in F1? ❌ No.
    Highlights: Relatively strong start. Rebranded to Caterham but faced financial issues and vanished after 2014.
  5. Super Aguri (2006)
    Still in F1? ❌ No.
    Highlights: Brief appearance with Honda support. Managed some competitive moments but closed doors in 2008.
  6. Toyota (2002)
    Still in F1? ❌ No.
    Highlights: Huge budget but struggled to deliver results. Departed F1 in 2009.
  7. Stewart (1997)
    Still in F1? ✅ Yes, it evolved into Red Bull Racing.
    Highlights: Impressive early results, including a win. Taken over by Ford, then Red Bull, which became a dominant team in the 2010s.
  8. Forti (1995)
    Still in F1? ❌ No.
    Highlights: Struggled from the outset, especially with the 107% rule, and quickly faded.
  9. Pacific (1994)
    Still in F1? ❌ No.
    Highlights: Small operation that had success elsewhere but couldn’t compete in F1. Financial challenges ended their journey in 1995.
  10. Simtek (1994)
    Still in F1? ❌ No.
    Highlights: Tragic start with the death of Roland Ratzenberger. Financial issues led to a brief stint in F1.