The FIA has revealed further information about the requirements for any new Formula One applicants. There will be a non-refundable $300,000 fee to cover the due diligence FIA officers must perform to ensure the credibility of the applicant. The fee appears remarkably light to cover all aspects of the process the FIA outlines below.
This opens the door to the much debated Andretti Racing F1 entry together with the lesser known Panthera Asia F1 team who are linked with Hong Kong businessmen Calvin Lo worth a reported $1.7bn.
More than 3 Formula One new applicants?
From recent comments made by the president of the FIA, there may be others waiting in the wings to fill the three vacant slots allowed under the Concorde agreement.
Mohammed Ben Sulayem observed there had been “a great deal of interest expressed” since his tweet opening the way for a new application process in January.
Applicants will have to deliver a business plan which includes detailed 5 year projections of the financials for the new team, how it will raise funds to meet its financial obligations.
Criteria broad with little detail
The FIA expects a detailed schedule of the technical ability an applicant can call upon and where the gaps in personnel are at present.
Other criteria include how the team intends to meet the technical, sporting and financial regulations together with any relevant competition racing experience.
The FIA will conduct a “fit and proper” persons assessment of the owners and senior management of the team. The integrity of those listed will e also examined.
Sop to current F1 team bosses in ‘added value’ clause
Importantly, though somewhat vague in definition, the potential entrant must demonstrate the value they bring to Formula One. This is particularly important following the insistence of Toto Wolff and others that any new F1 participant adds to the current value of Formula One.
Haas F1 were the last new entrant into the sport and the criteria has become far more onerous since they joined in 2016. Now an applicant will have to demonstrate they have a focus on sustainability and can operate on a “net zero Co2 basis” by 2030.
Further, a team must demonstrate how ‘society’ is positively impacted by their participation I Formula One.
Further requirements ‘down the line’
This list is apparently just a starting point and the FIA will issue further detailed requirements ‘down the line’ though that will presumably be in the very short term since the closing date for applications is April 30th 2023, just 12 weeks from now.
The FIA have set themselves a deadline too with decisions to be made over new entrants by June 30th.
Given that the Andretti Racing preparation for its Formula One project has been under way for around a year, the deadlines for the American team’s application should be doable.
Tight timescale leaves little time for protests
Though for others the timescales feel tight given due diligence undertaken for a corporate buy in/out are often in excess of this.
By setting such a short timescale it does limit the opportunity for thew team’s to object to new F1 applications given most of their focus and resource between April 30th and June 30th will be targeted at the busy European schedule of races.
The FIA will argue any extension to this timeframe would compromise the ability of a new team to prepare fully for their entry into the sport in 2026.