Formula One governing body, the FIA, have opened the application process for teams looking to enter the championship in the next two years. Should an applicant be found, the number of cars on the grid would rise to at least 24; the same total seen between 2010-2012 when Caterham and Hispania Racing Team were competing.
The FIA outlined the requirements they are searching for from applicants, which includes being financially able to compete at a good level; criteria arguably missing in the case of new teams in previous years.
Formula One experienced it’s lowest grid in decades in the final rounds of last year after the sudden exit of Caterham and Marussia. Now, with Manor back for the moment and American team Haas set to join next year, the numbers will be back up to 22. If the FIA are able to find teams that could enter, with their search specifying the plausibility of multiple new entrants, the number could get even higher.
Rumours have been rife over the last months that a manufacturer effort from the Volkswagen Audi Group could enter the sport, either in a new team or in a takeover of a previous team. An entry from the group could be one of the best bets to take a slot on the grid in the next two years.
FIA Statement in full:
Having due regard for the sustainability and future success of the Formula One World Championship, the FIA has opened a new selection process to identify a candidate team to participate in the Championship from the start of the 2016 or the 2017 season.
The overall long-term interests of the Championship will determine which candidate is selected.
The precise terms of this selection process, together with the applicable selection criteria, deadlines, legal requirements and other conditions, will be communicated to candidates who have registered a formal expression of interest with the FIA’s Secretariat before 5pm CET 30 June 2015.
The application process will commence with those who have registered an expression of interest before the aforementioned deadline (late applicants will be admitted only at the FIA’s discretion).
All applicants will be expected to undergo thorough due diligence. By way of indication only, the applicable selection criteria will include:
- the technical ability and resources of the team
- the ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the Championship at a competitive level
- the team’s experience and human resources
- the FIA’s assessment of the value that the candidate may bring to the Championship as a whole.
By way of indication only, the FIA anticipates that full applications will need to be submitted by 1st September 2015, leading to a decision on 30 September 2015.
In the event that no applicant is considered suitable by both the FIA and the commercial rights holder, no additional team will be selected.