Another prospective Formula 1 team has added its name to the list of potential future entrants to the sport, with Formula Equal confirming its intentions to add to the grid.
Former BAR chief executive, Craig Pollock, is leading the project to bring Formula Equal into motorsport’s top tier – with its objective being to hire an equal 50/50 split in its workforce between male and female employees.
The team is also in talks over receiving funding from an unnamed “Gulf area country” to bankroll its place on the grid, and Pollock announced the news that Formula Equal has submitted an Expression of Interest in joining the Formula 1 grid from the 2025 or 2026 season onwards, as per the process allowed by the FIA in an announcement it made at the start of 2023.
Pollock announced the news on Tuesday, and while he acknowledged that the current lack of gender diversity in motorsport would make it harder for the team to hire suitably qualified candidates throughout the team in the first instance, it is something that he would be want to “build up” over time – confirming the team’s intention to have a 50% male, 50% female workforce at every level of the Formula Equal organisation.
“Our ambition [is] to deliver and build opportunities and pathways for women to get to the very top level inside motorsports,” Pollock said to CNN.
“The concept and the idea was to try and build a Formula 1 team, 50% male, 50% female, which is extremely hard to do if you have an existing Formula 1 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 1 and they’ve got to earn a place in there at the same time.”
“We are in intense discussions with I would just say a Gulf area country,” Pollock later added when discussing how the team would be funded.
“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. And I just hope it’s going to work because … it does take a lot of money.
“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.”
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Alongside Formula Equal, who else is looking to join the Formula 1 grid?
Andretti Autosport have been the most vocal about their plans to add to the grid in future, having also confirmed a tie-in with General Motors through Cadillac to add weight to their bid, with the company’s new global headquarters in Indiana having been built with space for a Formula 1 operation in mind.
Panthera Team Asia also confirmed their intentions to go for a place on the grid in future when speaking to PlanetF1.com on the subject, with aims to bring a team’s headquarters into Asia and potentially expand the sport in that part of the world by developing an Asian driver academy.
Long-established junior series team Hitech are also believed to have submitted a formal Expression of Interest in joining the Formula 1 grid, though this is yet to be officially confirmed by the team.
Several of the current Formula 1 teams have voiced opposition to the grid expanding beyond its current 10 teams, citing the $200m ‘anti-dilution’ fee as per the current Concorde Agreement as being too little to spread among the existing constructors for loss of prize money.