Formula 1 has denied there are “serious discussions” happening with prospective new teams ahead of the 2021 season, despite suggestions a Spanish entry is planning an entry into the sport.
The last time a new team joined the grid was in 2016, when Haas joined the sport.
However, a recent release by MIM Group — which has ties to Campos Racing — suggested Campos is looking to rise into F1 when new regulations are brought in from 2021.
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In the statement, MIM Group said Campos — which runs squads in F2 and F3 — is “now at an advanced stage of negotiations with current Formula 1 teams and engine manufacturers to ensure the best possible partnership for a competitive Spanish Formula 1 Team from 2021 and onwards”.
Campos — which employs Australian F3 driver Alex Peroni, who was the victim of a devastating Monza crash last month — is owned by former Minardi driver Adrian Campos, who set the team up in 1997.
MIM Group also named key technical and managerial staff, stated it was in talks with both Renault and Honda over an engine supply deal, and mooted Pascal Wehrlein and Alex Palou as prospective drivers, with both under contract with MIM Group.
Among the key staff named were former F1 engineers Peter McCool as technical director, and Ben Wood as chief aerodynamicist.
The statement also claims that representatives had met with F1 CEO Chase Carey and director of motorsport Ross Brawn.
CEO Salvatore Gandolfo said joining F1 “shall be a long-term project”.
“We are aware of the big challenges ahead of us, but we have a team of experts working day and night and the financial solidity required by the FIA to make this project a success,” Gandolfo said.
“With the new budget cap, the new distribution of incomes and the new technical and sporting regulations, there is a great opportunity for smaller teams to compete and ultimately to make the FIA Formula 1 World Championship more interesting and balanced again.”
However, F1 released a statement of its own and shot down the Campos claim, confirming the sport is not in discussions with any “persons or companies about the admission of a new team”.
F1’s statement reads: “Following publicity in recent days from several entities that have indicated their ambition to participate in the FIA Formula One World Championship from 2021, while Formula 1 appreciates their interest, we can confirm that there are no serious discussions with any persons or companies about the admission of a new team.”
In 2010, Hispania Racing Team, Virgin Racing, and Lotus Racing all entered the sport, with the grid expanding to 12 teams.
All three have since disappeared — Hispania was renamed HRT but was omitted ahead of the 2013 season, and Lotus became Caterham before it folded after 2014.
Just 10 teams now compete in F1, with the sport downsizing from 11 for 2017 after Manor Racing closed down.