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What Is FIA’s Tedious Process That Andretti and Co. Have to Pass for a Place on the F1 Grid for 2026 and Beyond?

Published 02/03/2023, 6:30 AM EST

3 min read

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via Reuters

Formula 1 and the FIA seem to have finally opened up to the idea of new F1 teams. The governing body FIA has formally launched its process of scrutinizing new team entries for a place on the grid from 2026 onwards. While the FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem had announced the Expression of Interest program earlier, this is the execution of that announcement. The formal process perhaps will give hope to Andretti and Cadillac’s F1 bid. Meanwhile, manufacturers who are probably having talks also may enter the fray officially now. Although, it is going to be a tedious process lasting until June 2023.

According to, this formal process begins with an Email Application stage. In this stage, the prospective teams have to register their interest by the preliminary deadline. This deadline is understood to be February 17, 2023. In this application, the candidate teams will also have to pay up a $20,000 administration fee, which is non-refundable.

via Reuters

The preliminary application of interest shall entail 6 different aspects:


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A cover letter that gives the introduction of the candidate.

The complete contact details (contact number, email address, postal address) for the candidate team including the main Point of Contact individual.

All the company details that consist of the address, company infrastructure details, different articles of association, etc.

Complete details and identities of the shareholders of the company as well as the main owner shareholder.

A CV of each director and the main officer who shall be associated with the team entry.

Post this stage, the FIA shall inform the prospective teams as to who they deem suitable enough to evaluate for the new team entry on the F1 grid. This shall happen after February 17’s deadline and the formal process will begin with the 2nd stage of evaluation.

This stage will involve detailed scrutiny of the feasibility and viability of the team’s potential to thrive in F1. All the shortlisted team candidates will have to submit details about a lot of criteria. In addition to this, another application fee worth $300,000 is payable at this 2nd stage of the process.

The 8 Key Aspects that the FIA will Scrutinize for New F1 Team Entries

FIA is looking for teams that can start racing in 2026, 2027, or 2028. As a result, they have listed a detailed list of aspects they shall examine to grant a team spot on the F1 grid. The 8 major aspects the FIA is looking to judge and analyze for new prospective teams are as follows:

The Technical ability and Resources of the Team


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Considering the failed F1 teams of the past, the FIA does not want to take a chance this time around. Thus, this analysis of gauging the technical capabilities of teams like Andretti-Cadillac will be crucial. It will be pivotal to ascertain whether the team can thrive and compete in F1 or not. Even rumored manufacturer candidates like Honda and Hyundai will have to meet the same requirements.

The Funding abilities of the Team to Meet Financial Obligations

Things can go haywire without financial backing and the ability to pay up the obligations to Formula 1 management and the FIA. Therefore, they will look to ensure that the candidate team can keep up with the financial requirements of the sport.

Compliance with the Sporting, Technical, and Financial Regulations

The cost cap compliance is another huge factor the new teams have to abide by. Besides, the demanding nature of the constantly changing sporting and technical regulations can also puzzle a new team. Thus, the FIA will want to ensure a new team can adapt and abide by all these dynamic and strict regulations of F1.

Detailed Business Plan with a 5-year Projection

As Formula 1 teams are a business venture, the viability aspect can only be gauged with a detailed business plan. Whether Andretti, Panthera, or even manufacturers like Honda or Hyundai can keep their team running for the long term is the thing the FIA wants to judge.

The Team’s Prior Motorsport or Racing experience

While Andretti and Cadillac have established racing programs in different categories, the FIA still will be looking at whether they can meet the F1 level of racing expertise requirements. These requirements entail engine development, technical aero development, equipment, and resources as well as team personnel requirements. Formula 1 isn’t the same as other categories.

The Fitness and Credibility of Team Owners and Shareholders

These are legal requirements that will involve background checks on team owners with their profiles.

Sustainability and EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion)

The ability of the prospective team to balance its racing team operations with the EDI and sustainability initiatives.


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The FIA’s assessment of the Team’s Value to the F1 World Championship

This last one perhaps is the crucial criterion as the FIA and Formula 1 have expressed how they would like manufacturers to enter the sport. Thus, individual teams like Andretti and Panthera may not have an advantage over other manufacturer candidates.

While GM’s Cadillac is a new manufacturer along with Andretti, there has been a reluctance to Andretti-Cadillac so far from existing teams. Regardless, the capping of teams on the F1 grid, including the new entries, is set to 12. The prospective teams will undergo the whole process until April 30, 2023.


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Post that, the FIA shall convene a decision on adding new teams or not by June 30, 2023. There is the stipulation that if no candidates in the formal process are deemed suitable enough, no teams shall be selected. Yet, teams like Andretti would hope to make the cut through this tedious process for a 2026 entry. What do you think of this formal process for new teams in F1?



Aishwary Gaonkar

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Aishwary Gaonkar is an F1 Author at EssentiallySports. Having completed his postgrad, he has set out to venture into the world of Sports Journalism. He is an ardent fan of F1 and has been following the most prestigious form of motor racing for over a decade now.

Edited By: Ranvijay Singh