Have you ever gone to a job interview and then the screen time on your phone or laptop has skyrocketed due to constantly updating email inboxes or checking to make sure you didn’t miss a job? message or call? Especially since there is rarely a deadline for receiving an answer. The wait can be torture.
Well, there must be some really weird waiting game going on at various motorsports venues around the world at the moment, as the FIA deliberates whether it deems any of the applicants to join the Formula 1 grid worthy of its approval. .
I guess at this stage it’s more like waiting to find out if you have a second interview than the job itself, because even if the FIA approves a team, F1 has to make its own decision from a commercial point of view. And that second interview sounds more and more like it’s with a boss who doesn’t want to hire anyone in the first place.
But at this point in the proceedings, that bodes well for aspiring builders.
As I’ve written in the past, Michael Andretti wasn’t making many friends in the paddock (the kind he needed to win, anyway) as he expressed his frustration at the opposition he felt he was facing with the Andretti Cadillac entry. He has been following F1’s advice to limit comments about him in recent months, but he doesn’t appear to be the only one doing so.
Of the other teams that have made their intentions to join the grid known (Hitech, Panthera, Formula Equal and Lky Sunz), there is very little meat on the bones from a public point of view. But you only hear whispers and pick up bits of knowledge here and there that allow you to make an educated guess about who’s well placed and who isn’t.
And while the teams wait for the FIA to make a judgment, it certainly feels like Andretti Cadillac and Hitech are the most likely to be successful with their applications.
That’s not to say there aren’t possibilities for others, or that unknown names haven’t jumped in as well, but the existing infrastructure, major hires, and investments already made have demonstrated the commitment and capability of both. Those are far from the only requirements, of course, but it’s understood that both have handed over important (and by significant, we’re talking hundreds of pages) dossiers of their plans.
Hitech is believed to be further along in terms of aerodynamic development, but there have been some interested inquiries within F1 itself as to where the main funding for the project came from, given the previous involvement of Dmitry Mazepin.
There’s no such concern when it comes to Andretti, a team preparing to put a car in the wind tunnel in the very near future, with GM’s involvement expected to be on the chassis side, as well as some interest. potential in the future. power unit.
With a large amount of detail required from each applicant, it would be of limited value to select too many more points without knowing all the teams’ counter-arguments. Plus, there’s a much simpler reason why at least one of Andretti and Hitech is likely to get the FIA seal of approval: public opinion.
It’s not a reason to allow a team to join, but F1 has made it clear for some time that it is far from guaranteed that it will agree to expansion. Liberty Media, via recent comments from Greg Maffei, seems to have softened a bit, but F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali stands by his personal opinion that 10 teams is the right number. And existing teams generally protect their current positions.
So it may turn out that what the FIA says has little impact, because the next stage after any approval from the governing body is for F1 to either negotiate or reject the interest.
But given the way the FIA and F1 have fought over certain issues in recent years, why would Mohammed Ben Sulayem want to make life easier for Domenicali and company by turning down all interested entrants?
Some may lack substance, but Andretti and Hitech have plenty of existing facilities and motorsport involvement to suggest it wouldn’t be unrealistic of the FIA to present them as acceptable additions.
And then it’s up to F1 to be the bad guy if they really don’t want to expand the grid.