The FIA has put out a call to find a new team to join the Formula 1 grid as early as 2016, boosting it from the current 20 cars to 24 with the addition of the Haas F1 Team.
It’s not clear if the FIA has reacted to interest outside F1, or whether they’re simply testing the waters to see if there is an interested party, but a potential candidate could already be on the horizon.
Leading GP2 team ART Grand Prix is run by FIA president Jean Todt’s son, Nicolas, and runs McLaren youngster Stoffel Vandoorne and Honda protege Nobuharu Matsushita.
It also has further links to McLaren and shares the Woking team’s new livery – a sign of deeper involvement in the near future?
Meanwhile news that customer cars could return has been doing the rounds. It’s believed McLaren’s Ron Dennis is a supporter of the plan and would be keen to see a McLaren B-team running Honda engines to provide additional feedback to aid the Japanese manufacturers development.
If customer cars don’t happen, then ART could head down a similar path to the Haas F1 Team. Haas is sourcing the maximum amount of parts possible under the technical rules from Ferrari, essentially making it a ‘Ferrari B-team’ despite their insistence otherwise.
Such a partnership could also supply Kevin Magnussen with a route back to F1, something Dennis is keen to see happen as he is currently in Magnussen’s home country of Denmark, trying to convince Danish companies to offer support for the youngster.
We’ll know more about potential candidates on June 30th when the FIA’s deadline to submit interest passes.