Equal-gender team led by ex-F1 team boss aiming for 2026 entry

Former British American Racing team principal Craig Pollock has confirmed plans to join the F1 grid in 2026 with a new team.
Equal-gender team led by ex-F1 team boss aiming for 2026 entry

His ‘Formula Equal’ team would consist of a 50/50 percent gender split workforce, making it the first team in F1 to do so if his bid is successful. 

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Pollock, who was in charge of BAR from 1999 to 2002 and also acted as 1997 world champion Jacques Villeneuve’s manager, confirmed his plans to CNN on Tuesday. 

“This has been going on for close on four years, the building up of a brand new Formula 1 team, but taking into it our ambition to deliver and build opportunities and pathways for women to get to the very top level inside motorsports," he told CNN. 

"The concept and the idea was to try and build a Formula 1 team that is 50% male, 50% female, which is extremely hard to do if you have an existing Formula 1 team. This is a lot easier with a clean sheet.”

Pollock is aiming to build the “first F1 team that is truly outside of Europe” amid speculation his backers are from Saudi Arabia, a country which joined the F1 calendar in 2021. 

Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston Martin F1 Team AMR23 at the start of the race.
Sergio Perez (MEX) Red Bull Racing RB19 and Fernando Alonso (ESP) Aston…

The 67-year-old British businessman refused to confirm whether Saudi Arabia was involved in the project, but did reveal the team is in “intense discussions” with a “Gulf area country”. 

“I’m not really in the position to talk about that and be fully open about it at this present time – that will come out in the very near future,” he said. “And I just hope it’s going to work because … it does take a lot of money.”

Pollock added: “This has to be built from the bottom up in a Gulf state and this is what we are aiming to do. This is a long-term project – this is not short-term.”

It comes after the FIA opened the official application process for new teams to enter F1 in 2025, 2026 or 2027 earlier this year. 

As well as Andretti-Cadillac, junior series team Hitech Grand Prix and Panthera F1 Team Asia are understood to be among the hopefuls to have submitted an Expressions of Interest to the FIA. 

The deadline for formal applications is April 30 and the FIA hopes to make a decision on bids by June 30. 

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