It may not be the propitious moment for new constructors to enter F1, but numerous potential teams are knocking on the series’ doors. However, here is why F1 must focus on itself first before welcoming any new entrants.
Some already grabbed the moment to promote themselves, as Campos did by already announcing its 2021 line-up (Pascal Wehrlein and Alex Palou). Although the FIA took a stand and intervened to publicly deny any advanced negotiations, it inadvertently confirmed that something is moving towards that direction. Cyril Abiteboul himself declared that he received multiple phone calls concerning a Renault engine deal from 2021 onwards.
But is the FIA willing to welcome any newcomers?
“It is not realistic that anyone new will come into the sport at the moment, because there is simply too much money you would have to invest” said McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl. And on F1’s sid it would not be convenient either, as it would mean splitting the commercial rights’ income into more parties.
Moreover, the 2021 rules have not been fixed yet, as an agreement has to be reached within the end of the month, with several points still pending. However, it is certain that the FIA does not want to revive the experience of a third division on the F1 grid, as it happened in the early 2010s with HRT, Marussia/Manor and Caterham.
The current issue to sort out is the major gap between the Top-3 teams and the rest of the field a problem which has been taken to a whole another level with reduced TV coverage for the midfield. Carlos Sainz was extremely vocal about this issue constantly plaguing the races and causing a distorted perception of the actual happenings during the race.
Furthermore, given current F1 teams’ financial and commercial struggles, the scene looking towards 2021 is still filled with issues here and there. On top of them, Alfa Romeo did not reach the level the FCA had hoped for commercially. Despite its conspicuous efforts to relaunch the brand, Alfa Romeo produced a larger mediatic rather than a financial impact. Its see-sawing results and lack of competitiveness also played a significant role in failing to reach the key amount of return following the investments made.