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New F1 team in the making: founder BAR has signed up for 2026

New F1 team in the making: founder BAR has signed up for 2026

28-03-2023 13:51 Last update: 15:36


Another new team is set to compete in Formula 1 from 2026. In an interview with CNN Craig Pollock confirmed that he has been laying the groundwork for his own F1 team in recent years. The British businessman wants his team - called Formula Equal - to be able to take to the track from 2026.

The FIA had earlier this year offered the opportunity for new teams to apply for 2025, 2026, or 2027. Besides Pollock, Andretti-Cadillac had also announced its intention to apply. Hong Kong billionaire Calvin Lo had earlier expressed his interest to GPblog, although no clarification on the state of his application has since been made.

Pollock is no stranger to Formula 1. Indeed, Pollock was Jacques Villeneuve's manager when he became world champion in 1997, and was also the founder of the BAR team that was in Formula 1 from 1999 to 2005. In that capacity, he then also managed to convince Honda to return to the sport.

Special angle for the new team

Pollock's team is to be called 'Formula Equal'. The special angle? The team is to consist of 50 per cent men and 50 per cent women. "Our ambition is to deliver and build opportunities and pathways for women to get to the very top level inside motorsports," Pollock explains. "The concept and the idea was to try and build a Formula One team, 50% male, 50% female, which is extremely hard to do if you have an existing Formula One team; it’s a lot easier with a clean sheet of paper. We know that we are going to have to go through our academy systems. We know we’re going to have to build it up because there are not enough women at the moment who are trained up to the level of Formula One and they’ve got to earn a place in there at the same time."

Pollock seeks Arab backer

Starting a new Formula One team is, of course, extremely expensive. Pollock is therefore looking for backers for his venture. "We are in intense discussions with I would just say a Gulf area country," Pollock reveals. The assumption is that it will be Saudi Arabia, as that country has been busy expanding its role in Formula 1 in recent years. Saudi Arabia has been associated with new start-up teams many times in the past.

"I’m not really in the position to talk about that and be fully open about it at this present time," Pollock continued about his potential business partner. "That will come out in the very near future. And I just hope it’s going to work because … it does take a lot of money."