Salvatore Gandolfo, the founder and CEO of Monaco Increase Management, was thinking of introducing a new Formula 1 team already in the 2021 season, however, the project faced a set back due to the current pandemic and the extremely high entry fee.
Gandolfo was already in talks with F1 back in 2019, when he wanted to enter the series with a Spanish-based team using the Campos Racing’s facilities. Then, after having found an agreement with the Automobile Club de Monaco, which promotes the homonymous GP and other events, he changed his team name and was hoping for a debut this season.
The potential new entrant would have raced with the name of ‘Monaco F1 Racing Team’ and Gandolfo’s intention was that of taking advantage of the introduction of a new budget cap and the revolution of current technical regulations.
“The current Monaco F1 Racing Team Project was the first to actively discuss the possibility of an entry with the F1 governance, as early as 2019, and to set up a structure, accordingly, realizing the potential of the new technical regulations that was initially supposed to come into force in 2021 (and was subsequently delayed because of the pandemics)” Gandolfo stated.
However, while the budget cap will come into force this year as planned, the outbreak of Covid-19 has led the FIA to the decision of postponing the new technical regulations by 12 months, as a cost-saving measure due to the pandemic’s impact.
Moreover, according to the new rules introduced by the budget cap, every new entrant would have to pay a colossal “anti-dilution fee” amounting to $200 million, to be shared between rival teams. This fee is designed to compensate current teams on the grid for the losses they would incur due to a new competitor. Indeed, under the new revenue structure, all teams on the grid – and not only those that place in the top-10 for at least two out of three years – would get a pecuniary reward. This implies that the entry of any new player would potentially reduce individual teams’ earnings by -9% (if moving from 10 to 11 teams) or by -16% (in case 12 teams are on the grid).
Unexpectedly though, the new Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has stated that under certain circumstances, the above-mentioned fee might be put off. This announcement was surely well-welcomed by Gandolfo, who issued a press release stating that:
“We believe that the recent statements of the new F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali, which suggest that the [$200m] entry fee for new teams could be waived, represent a step forward in the right direction”.
Gandolfo is sure the recent developments have opened the door for the team to join Formula 1 in the upcoming future.
“We appreciate the open attitude of both Stefano and the FIA and are ready to take the necessary steps in order to have our application finalized.”
Among those involved in the project, there are some remarkable names, including Daniele Audetto, Ferrari’s sporting boss during Niki Lauda’s years and former managing director of the Super Aguri team.
Moreover, former-F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein, who now drives for Porsche in Formula E, and Alex Palou, Ganassi IndyCar driver, are represented by Gandolfo’s agency (Monaco Increase Management, ed.) and were indicated as potential drivers.