The 2021 season heralds many changes. In addition, the technical and sports regulations will change, there is a possibility that the fans will see a new team in the grid.
According to the news, at the moment it’s known that the team is called Panthera Team Asia F1. Following from the name, it can assume that the team will position itself as Asian team, which Formula 1 hasn’t yet.
Interestingly, that one of the founders of the team is a former managing Director of SMP Racing and BR Engineering Benjamin Durand. Obviously, Durand has a lot of experience in team work with one of the largest racing programs in the Motorsport world, which gives reason to take seriously the success of the future of this project.
The team has already hired employees for a number of key positions, including technical and sports Directors, and has already signed several contracts with suppliers. Most likely, the team will work on a similar system to Haas. The main feature of this system is that the team buys most of the components from third-party suppliers.
However, here the team faces some obstacles under regulation 2021. It’s not yet known how the work with suppliers will be built according to the new rules. Despite the tight and confident preparation, the team hasn’t yet applied for participation in the tender. It’s expected that the FIA will announce the tender after the publication of the regulations of 2021.
Speaking of the new rules, it’s remembering the statement of several F1 teams bosses that their teams can leave the championship if the new rules will not meet their ideas. This was discussed in Red Bull, even Mercedes and smaller teams. One of them is Haas, the youngest F1 team at the moment. On the one hand, there is a possibility that the regulations still will not solve the problems of small teams, however, to be honest, it’s unlikely that the team like Haas after such a long journey and the work done, with quite strong results will leave the championship. Therefore, the Panthera is likely to become the 11th team on the grid, rather than replace any of the existing ones in F1.
It's no secret that the most interesting thing in the history of the new team is the choice of the drivers. The new team undoubtedly needs experienced drivers which have already had experience with the Formula 1 car. However, perhaps Durand's past experience contributes to the fact that the team will have SMP Racing program drivers. And at the moment the most suitable candidate is Sergey Sirotkin, who has extensive experience of performances in Formula 1 and in other racing series. In addition, the rising star Robert Schwartzman, who is in SMP Racing and Ferrari Driver Academy, also has a chance to start F1 career with Panthera Team Asia F1.