The 2014 Formula 1 World Championship hasn't begun yet, but plans for the 2015 season are already well underway with the FIA preparing to consider applications from prospective new teams.
A handful of potential entries are rumoured to have come forward with a view to joining the F1 grid in 2015, with a selection undergoing an independent audit in recent weeks prior to any consideration from the FIA.
As it stands, only a single party has publically signalled its intention to mount an F1 team bid, with reputed NASCAR team owner Gene Haas declaring he is 'serious' about setting up his own US-based effort
Furthermore Haas, whose plan to run the team under an American flag in North Carolina would make it the first of its kind since Penske exited F1 in 1978, has gone as far as to dismiss Bernie Ecclestone's assertions that he couldn't afford an entry, even if the F1 supremo's pessimism doesn't fill him with confidence.
"Mr Ecclestone doesn't think I have enough money to do this, [and] he doesn't think we will get the license, so my chances probably aren't that great of a shot,” he said, speaking in January.
"It scares me when the head of F1 says 'you can't afford this', as he probably knows what he's talking about,” he continued, “It was a little disheartening [and] if he's telling me I'm not going to get a licence, I appreciate that - it's better to know now than later. I don't want to spend a lot of time if I don't have a chance to get a licence.”
In addition to Haas, prolific F1 figure Colin Kolles – who headed up Jordan/Midland/Spyker/Force India and HRT between 2005 and 2011 – is, according to sources, attempting to launch a renewed F1 bid, while Zoran Stefanovic's Stefan GP, which attempted to join the F1 ranks in 2010, retains an interest.
Perhaps more significant is the rumoured interest of a manufacturer-backed, non-works entry, though this appears unlikely to originate from Volkswagen, which has recently played down intentions to join F1 despite suggesting a change in the regulations would potentially pique its interest.
Caterham (formerly Lotus Racing), Marussia (formerly Virgin Racing) and HRT were the last all-new F1 teams to be admitted to the grid in 2010, though the latter folded at the end of the 2012 season.