Bernie Ecclestone has hinted that there will be strict criteria and a stern selection process for any new team hoping to make the graduation to Formula 1 in the sport's new 'low-cost' era in 2010 – as another potential new entrant emerges from the shadows.
The FIA's optional £40 million budget cap set to be introduced from next year onwards has been designed with the objective of enticing new teams into the top flight. A David Richards-led Prodrive/Aston Martin/UAE-branded bid, iconic British marque Lola, North Carolina-based US GPE, GP2 Series front-runners iSport International and former Honda satellite squad Super Aguri have all been linked with vying for the three available extra slots on the 2010 starting grid.
F1 ringmaster Ecclestone, however, has suggested that conditions of entry will separate the wheat from the chaff, stressing in an interview with British newspaper the Daily Express
that 'it won't be on a first come, first served basis'.
“We are not going back to the days when anyone could just arrive, run a few races and then disappear when they ran out of money,” urged the 78-year-old Formula One Management (FOM) chief executive. “We only need three teams to come in. Some of the big players are not happy, but no one has said they are leaving.”
“The FIA would make a judgement on the most appropriate entries to accept,” added Prodrive chairman Richards, who has past experience in F1 from successful stints at the helm of both Benetton (in 1998) and BAR-Honda (from 2002 to 2004). “I hope that our credentials stand us in good stead. We have been there before and done it before in most forms of motorsport.”
The latest man to toss his name into the hat is Mark Gallagher, boss of the Irish A1GP outfit that deprived Switzerland of back-to-back title glory in the World Cup of Motorsport at Brands Hatch last weekend, as driver Adam Carroll stormed to a double pole position and brace of victories on race day to clinch the laurels for the emerald entry. The latter has already made very clear his desire to be in F1 in 2010 [see separate story – click here
“I have ambitions in Formula 1,” revealed Gallagher, who has previously worked for Jordan Grand Prix. “Our driver Adam Carroll should be in Formula 1, but you need to approach this carefully. We need to know exactly what is involved and, like everyone interested out there, I would like to see the exact details. If you are looking to be racing in 2010 you need to know very, very soon what is required.”