If you think about it, there would be many hurdles to leap in order to start your own Formula 1 team these days and with the shiny new object—more heavily promoted than F1—in Formula E luring car manufacturers, it is even more difficult due to the inability to find an engine partner willing to invest the money it would take given the current engine regulations. They’d rather invest that money in an all-electric series it would seem.
Convinced it must remain an electric hybrid to appeal to car makers, Formula 1 made the move to the V6 turbo hybrid power unit to lure manufacturers but Honda was the only taker and right now, McLaren and F1 are at risk of shoving Honda out of the back door. Any potential car maker interested in F1 might see Honda’s fate as a warning to steer clear of F1.
With McLaren unable to secure a Ferrari, Renault or Mercedes engine supply, how successful would a new team be in gaining a supply from three car makers already stretched in supplying multiple teams? Perhaps the FIA can enforce its regulations and make one of the engine makers supply a new team but right now, nothing seems to be luring new teams to the sport according to FIA president Jean Todt when asked if there were any new teams interested:
“Not something I will comment on as a very serious offer,” said Todt.
“When we will see there is some serious offer [we will open a tender] – as we did when Haas came to Formula 1, we understood there was some serious interest so we created a tender.”
“At the moment, we have 10 teams competing in F1,” said Todt.
“We have a good championship.
“The maximum number of teams we would accept is 12 so I’m happy to listen to any good proposals.
“We are working to have an even better championship, but the agreements we have is for a maximum for 12 teams.”
I think F1 has a lot of work to do before it starts luring new car manufacturers to the sport and perhaps the first big step would be to make an engine regulation that is appealing but not outlandishly expensive to produce. That’s not an easy concept, by the way.
If F1 can focus on reducing the cost to compete via regulations that contain a law of diminished returns (again, not an easy task at all) and create a more competitive series where cars can race in close quarters and reduce the processional aerodynamic impact on the sport in order to promote exciting racing, then perhaps VW and others may come.
It’s very possible that none of this will happen until 2020 so it would not surprise me to see no new teams until then or sometime after, say, 2021. I hope I’m wrong but we’ll have to wait and see.
Hat Tip: Autosport