The International Automobile Federation (FIA) has commenced a search for a new Formula One team that could join the grid of the motor racing championship as early as next season.
F1’s governing body has launched a tender process “to identify a candidate team to participate at a competitive level” from the start of 2016 or 2017 until at least 2020. The FIA said the move has been made with “due regard for the sustainability and future success” of the Formula One world championship.
F1 currently has 10 teams and is scheduled to witness the introduction of another in 2016, with the US-based Haas outfit set to join the grid. However, the latest tender process comes with a number of current teams suffering financially and Formula One having been bruised by the experience of its most recent attempt to bolster the grid.
Marussia, Caterham and HRT all entered Formula One in 2010. However, Spanish-based HRT folded at the end of 2012, while Caterham collapsed at the end of last season. The future of Marussia was also uncertain throughout the winter before a rescue package was confirmed in March.
Northern Irish businessman Stephen Fitzpatrick was confirmed as the principal investor, and effective owner, of the new-look Manor Marussia. Manor, which operated under the Marussia name in F1 in 2014, ceased trading in November after missing the final three races of the season.
Under the new tender, details of the selection criteria and process will be revealed to those registering their interest by June 30. Initial applicants will be required to pay an initial non-refundable fee of $5,000 (€4,400). Full applications need to be submitted by September 1 with a decision expected on September 30. The total application fee was set at $130,000.
The FIA added that the “overall long-term interests” of the championship would determine which candidate is selected, but stated that there is no guarantee that a new team will be found.