Prospective new F1 team 'postpones entry to 2022'

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A prospective new entry on the Formula 1 grid has pushed back its plans by at least one season, according to reports this week.

A brand new F1 team was first hinted at by reports last October linking motorsports management company Monaco Increase Management to Spanish motor racing team Campos Racing.

While MIM insisted at the time that it was moving full steam ahead with its plans to put cars on the grid from 2021, FIA president Jean Todt denied seeing any "solid" proposals from any potential new teams.

However the business subsequently stated that its CEO and founder Salvatore Gandolfo had held talks with Formula 1 chiefs on a number of occasions through 2019. The possible new team's entry was said to be dependent on a new set of technical rules and regulations coming into effect in 2021.

"With the new budget cap, the new distribution of incomes and the new technical and sporting regulations, there is a great opportunity for smaller teams to compete and ultimately to make the FIA Formula 1 World Championship more interesting and balanced again," the company said in a statement last year.

The introduction of these new rules have now been pushed back to 2022 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic delaying the start of the current season, and MIM has accordingly set its own plans back by a year in response.

Sources close to the project told that its future entry remained in the works, but that MIM was waiting “for better visibility” on the global situation before making any further moves.

“The project is still alive,” Gandolfo told Blick via his spokesman Alberto Antonini. “But because of the current situation, it is impossible to plan the next steps.

He said that if the new cost cap rules came into effect, "I would have to find around 20 million euros more for a 100 million euro budget. Only that is realistic and interesting as a business.”

The last new team to join the F1 grid was Haas in 2016. A previous trio of teams that entered in 2010 consisting of Lotus (subsequently Caterham), Virgin (later Marussia/Manor) and HRT all subsequently foundered and went out of business.

The coronavirus crisis has left several current teams struggling financially, with McLaren laying off a large number of workers in its sports car manufacturing business and Williams investigating a sale of the racing team.

MIM already has strong links with former F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein, who this week departed the Mahindra Formula E race team in favour of a spot with Porsche.

And the management company also has talented Spanish rising star Alex Palou on its books, who made his IndyCar debut for Dale Coyne Racing at Texas Motor Speedway on Saturday night after previous campaigns in Formula 2 and Japanese Super Formula.

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