W How does that fit together? Formula 1 is in need and at the same time is attracting new teams. With Lotus, Force India, Sauber and Manor 4 teams have big financial problems. Pessimists fear that one or the other will throw in the towel this year. That is why the strategy group put the customer car issue back on the agenda at its last meeting on May 14th.
The discussions at the Monaco GP have intensified. Interestingly, McLaren boss Ron Dennis has now also swung into the customer car line. He was an advocate of the DNA of Formula 1 right up to the end. And that says: Everyone builds his own car. But the costs eat up the small teams, and the big ones don't want to save. Which brings with it the risk that the number of participants could soon drop below 16. Even if Haas F1 joins as a new team next year.
New F1 team for 2016 will only go with customer cars
In the middle of the crisis talks, the news bursts that the FIA is new Teams is looking for. There is space for 12 teams. Haas F1 will have 11 next year if everyone survives. The FIA encourages potential candidates to hand in their business cards by September 1st. A decision as to who will be awarded the contract will be made by September 30th.
At first the advance of the association caused amusement. Who, for heaven's sake, can and wants to afford the Formula 1 adventure? Nothing works below 100 million euros per year. Only a car manufacturer or a racing-mad billionaire like Gene Haas can overcome the entry barrier.
And who wants to build a Formula 1 team from scratch by 2016? That is only possible if someone already has this plan and has been working on it on a secret mission for some time.
McLaren B-Team with Vandoorne und Magnussen
Only at second glance does the tender make sense. Conspiracy theorists suggest that the candidate may already have been chosen. And that it is no coincidence why the FIA is no longer averse to the customer car idea. Critics believe that the applicant is the French ART team that is currently racing from victory to victory in the GP2 series with Stoffel Vandoorne and has also been active in the DTM since this season.
Isn't Vandoorne a McLaren driver? Is Ron Dennis finally ready to join a B-Team with young driversStart to bring? And isn't Nicolas Todt, the son of FIA President Jean Todt, part of the team at ART? Is it all just coincidence?
One thing is clear: Anyone who wants to join in 2016 can only do so on the basis of a customer car. The lead time to set up your own development department is far too short. Even if you only concentrate on aerodynamics like Haas F1.
Experts rhyme the story like this: The Formula 1 Commission and the FIA World Council approve customer cars at their next meeting. Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull, McLaren and Williams are offering customer cars for 2016. ART joins McLaren-Honda as a customer and with Stoffel Vandoorne and Kevin Magnussen as drivers. Manor looks into the tube. Or get a car elsewhere.
FIA denies suspicion
FIA spokesman Matteo Bonciani dismisses the conspiracy theories of himself: 'The FIA is happy to have new teams. We did not have a specific candidate in mind. It could also be that an automobile manufacturer applies one day. In the event that there are interested parties, we have to create the necessary procedures. We have we done. '