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Why F1's three major failures have left the sport scared for change

Why F1's three major failures have left the sport scared for change

F1 News

Why F1's three major failures have left the sport scared for change

Why F1's three major failures have left the sport scared for change

F1's incumbent teams have been reluctant to welcome new entries into the sport in recent times.

Andretti Global caused a stir when announcing plans to join F1 next year, with the idea met with a less-than-welcoming response from current outfits.

The reason is due to the decrease in the prize pot created by a new team, which can often only be balanced out by a new entrant carrying the name of a powerhouse manufacturer.

The link-up with Cadillac and General Motors has far from eased concerns, although it is understood two teams do back the entry.

The FIA has now officially opened the application process for new teams to enter F1 from 2025 at the earliest.

READ MORE: FIA open F1 application process for TWO new teams

But why is the current batch so jilted by the idea? GPFans takes a look, with recent past history offering a clue.

Campos Meta - Hispania Racing - HRT

To start with, we need to go back to F1's last significant attempt to expand the grid in 2010, only for three teams to quickly come and go.

Initially, a team entitled USF1 was given the green light by the FIA but it barely got off the ground.

This led to one of the teams in the reserve pool - Campos Meta - being granted entry. Run by the late Adrian Campos, trouble struck even before it began racing.

Funding issues threatened its place on the grid ahead of its debut, leading to a complete takeover and a change in name to Hispania, although the first year in F1 was miserable.

The team only just made the first race after completing zero miles in pre-season testing, and for second driver Karun Chandhok, it could only build a car ready for Saturday's running.

The car was woefully slow, with the gaps to pole often over five seconds. This led to the return of the 107 percent rule in F1, something which the renamed HRT outfit failed to qualify within on occasion in 2011.

Constant driver changes to try and boost the team's financial situation proved how flaky the operation was and at the end of 2012, the team folded. Not what F1 needed.

Team Lotus - Caterham

Team Lotus may have run into some intellectual property issues which prompted a change of name to Caterham for 2012, but across the first three years, it was the best-performing of the three new marques.

Despite possessing what appeared to be a more secure ownership model than HRT, the team failed to kick on from its promising start.

The outfit ran into difficulty and, like HRT, there were numerous driver changes in its bid to try and save itself.

The team ultimately went into administration, resulting in a staff dispute over unfair dismissal as redundancies became a necessity.

There was no way it could continue and Caterham ceased to exist ahead of the 2015 season, with staff who were made redundant finally being paid their packages in 2019.

Virgin Racing - Marussia - Manor

The most successful of the three teams was the one that started life as Virgin Racing.

Judging by its first season, it is hard to believe the shambles that unfolded could be that team.

The technical department decided wind tunnels were a thing of the past and designed the car purely on CFD, a clear mistake, as well as embarrassingly creating a fuel tank not large enough to finish a grand prix.

In 2012, the team changed its name to Marussia and did at least take steps forward, beating Caterham in 2013 to earn the all-important financial boost for finishing 10th in the constructors' standings.

The following year brought elation and heartbreak as Jules Bianchi secured the team its first points at the Monaco Grand Prix before his horrific crash in Japan cost him his life.

Marussia failed to compete in the final three races that year but survived, eventually becoming Manor in 2016.

Pascal Wehrlein added to the points haul in Austria but, like Caterham, the team ended up in administration and was unable to be saved ahead of the 2017 season.

Although it was the most promising of the three teams, it was still a way from being competitive.

Why these three teams matter

Quite simply, the image of a wildly under-prepared team circulating seconds off the pace is not one F1 wants on a display at a time when the sport is thriving.

There is also the stability factor, with even the most financially insecure outfits in the past 10 years - Haas, Sauber and Williams - finding sustainability within F1's new financial regulations.

So why would any of the current teams want to risk that?

A new team further reduces the split of the prize pot, yet a team like the three above would fail to add any value, which in turn means the available pot would not increase.

This is why current teams are eager for a new outfit to be a big name, such as Porsche.

In this case, whilst the prize pot would be diluted, the increase in value to the sport brought by a manufacturer would effectively negate such a loss due to additional rises in revenue.

So whilst it would be harsh to put Andretti Global in the bracket of the three teams above given Michael Andretti's exploits as a team owner in the United States, F1 will be more concerned about other potential entries to emerge during the FIA process.

Panthera, for instance, found a base in Silverstone and aired plans to enter F1 in 2019. Since then, it has quietly gone about finding funding to launch its bid, but it is an unknown quantity.

The same could be said for Hong Kong billionaire Calvin Lo, who has claimed he is eyeing an F1 entry and would look to fund any prospective teams.

There is a fascinating political landscape forming ahead of the new season in the wake of Ben Sulayem triggering this process.

But what is abundantly clear is the current teams will not be throwing a welcome party.

READ MORE: February 2023: Key dates for your diary

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