FIA Seeks Interest From Would-Be Formula One Teams Beginning In '15-16
Motorsports governing body FIA "sought expressions of interest on Wednesday from would-be new teams that could enter the sport from 2015 or 2016," according to Alan Baldwin of REUTERS. The FIA "posted a note on its website" announcing "a new selection process to identify a candidate team to participate at a competitive level" (REUTERS, 12/11). In London, Kevin Eason reported the "tight closing date suggests that either the FIA already has someone in mind" or FIA President Jean Todt "has developed an elaborate sense of humour after being re-elected for a new four-year term." When asked what he thought of new teams being sought, one exec at a "lowly squad" said, "Looking for mugs more like." Any new team "would be entering a financial bear pit in the middle of a squabbling circus whose future is far from uncertain." Seven of the 11 teams are "known to be struggling for cash," while rumors persist that at least one "may not make it into the new season amid a background of executives seeking mergers in an effort to drag themselves out of their financial hole." Far from being the glamorous $1B global sport projected to millions of TV screens, this is an F1 in which the fourth-best team with a winning car last season "could not afford to pay its lead driver" (LONDON TIMES, 12/12). The BBC reported prospective new team owners "will need to supply details of the identity of all shareholders and ultimate beneficial owner of all the shares." Information on the candidate's relevant experience and capabilities, including technical experience, racing experience, facilities, equipment and engineering resources "will also be required." The total fee is $130,000 and full applications will need to be submitted by Feb. 10. A decision is expected on Feb. 28 (BBC, 12/12).
GARAGE SPACE: AUTOSPORT's Edd Straw reported the number of F1 entries is "limited to 13 two-car teams, meaning there is capacity for two more outfits after HRT's demise over last winter although there is no indication that there are plans to award both places." The FIA "has not specifically invited applications for new entrants" since '10 when it decided not to grant any of the applicants, which included the Jacques Villeneuve-branded Durango project, a slot for '11, the sporting regulations "have left the door open for new teams" (AUTOSPORT, 12/12).
WILLIAMS: The Williams F1 Team announced the continuation of the Dom Reilly partnership for the '14 season. Dom Reilly has been the official supplier of luggage and travel accessories to the Williams F1 Team throughout '13 (Williams).