Start, Monaco, 2019

New ‘Monaco F1 Racing Team’ seeking to enter Formula 1

2021 F1 season

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A potential new Formula 1 entry under the name ‘Monaco F1 Racing Team’ is seeking to join the world championship.

Businessman Salvatore Gandolfo, founder of management firm Monaco Increase Management, is behind the entry. Gandolfo previously revealed plans in 2019 for a new, Spanish-based team using junior outfit Campos Racing’s facilities.

His planned team’s change of name is understood to have met with the approval of the Automobile Club de Monaco, which promotes the principality’s round of the Formula 1 world championship and other events.

Gandolfo previously intended to bring his new team into Formula 1 in 2021, taking advantage of the introduction of a new budget cap and sweeping changes to the technical regulations. However while the cap has come into force this year, and is set lower than was planned in 2019, the new technical regulations have been postponed by a year as a cost-saving measure due to the Covid-19 pandemic

Formula 1 has also announced new entrants will have to pay a $200 million ‘anti-dilution fee’, to be divided between rival teams. However CEO Stefano Domenicali indicated last week this could be waived under certain circumstances.

In a statement issued on Monday, Gandolfo welcomed Domenicali’s willingness to waive the fee and said he is prepared to proceed with an application to enter F1.

“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, realising 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).

“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. 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 finalised.”

Daniele Audetto, Ferrari’s sporting boss during the Lauda years and former managing director of the Super Aguri team, is among those involved in the project. Ex-F1 driver Pascal Wehrlein, who now drives for Porsche in Formula E, and Ganassi IndyCar driver Alex Palou, are represented by MIM and were previously named as potential drivers.

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Dieter Rencken
Dieter Rencken has held full FIA Formula 1 media accreditation since 2000, during which period he has reported from over 300 grands prix, plus...
Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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  • 44 comments on “New ‘Monaco F1 Racing Team’ seeking to enter Formula 1”

    1. Why does F1 have to attract so many shady and unknown entrants? [rhetorical question]

      It always feels like F2 has more actual motorsport credentials than some of the people joining up to F1.

      1. Pedro Andrade, Formula 2 has had some somewhat dodgy teams appear, with Durango being the most notorious outfit.

        That said, it’s not that surprising – you don’t really get the sort of pay off you might want with those sorts of shady antics in Formula 2, so it’s simply not worth the effort.

      2. It probably has to do with the timing. There has always been interest, more or less serious, and the fund, while important, are no showstopper for some billionaires (with better exposure per $ than America’s cup for instance).
        The difference at the moment is that some teams might have a good shot at it thanks to budget cap, as this means big teams will have to reorganize their staff and there will be F1 knowledge available for grab (eventually after trickle down through current small teams). This should definitely help to set in place a credible team with enough experience to have a realistic shot to get on the grid independently of the money.

    2. Very interesting. Not sure if this entity would fall under the ‘certain circumstances’ via which SD would waive the 200mill, but it sounds like they’ve only made this Monday statement because of the possibility of it that SD has suggested. But we haven’t heard exactly what the certain circumstances are, so if I am them I’m certainly hopeful, but not banking on this fee being waived. But sure ok, I guess SD has envigorated some to at least ask the questions as to how much it might cost them to start a new team in F1 including whether or not and how much an entry fee might be.

      As we debated this last week I came to the conclusion for myself that they would only waive the 200 mill for a team buying into or taking over an existing team (that seems to already be a known thing anyway), or for a team that is bringing in a new engine maker into F1 (my speculation). But other than those two scenarios, otherwise a new team would be bringing two more cars onto the grid, which would be great, but which also dilutes the prize moneys for the existing teams, and that would have to be compensated for, according to what we have been reading on this. At least if they were also bringing in a new pu maker and bolstering F1 that way, then they would be adding something to F1, not just diluting the prize money, and then could perhaps have some or all of the money waived.

      Going to be interesting to hear more about things such as what ‘certain circumstances’ are, and also be interesting to hear if this potential new entrant, and any others, are actually trying to get in on a shoestring budget and can only do so if the 200 is waived, in which case I’d question their validity as a team meant for the pinnacle of racing.

      1. Do you think the “certain circumstances” might be a situation where all of the existing teams give unanimous agreement to waive it? Or… perhaps something involving snowmen and hell?

        1. @gongtong I’m pretty sure it means “to the right candidate in Liberty’s eyes” given they’d be the ones to pay the anti-dilution fees if the teams did not consent… …and this is not the right candidate. This team is unlikely to bring anything special to the table.

          However, I’m not going to rubbish them completely as I have a feeling there may be a vacancy for them in the “main 10”, thus negating the anti-dilution fee argument altogether (only entries 11+ on a list pay it).

    3. I’ve heard Wehrlein and Palou’s names mentioned as a line-up for a new team before, although I thought that was in relation to Stefan GP (when they were contemplating another attempt at getting on the grid), not Campos. Is this part of the same team, or am I misremembering?

      1. Jose Lopes da Silva
        8th February 2021, 17:05

        The article mentions Campos.

        1. That’s what I mean. I thought it was Stefan GP, but the article mentions Campos. I was wondering if Stefan GP and Campos are the same team (under different names) or if I was just misremembering and there was no link between Wehrlein and Palou and Stefan GP, it was Wehrlein, Palou and Campos instead.

          1. The main project was with campos, and the 2 mentioned drivers in the article were confirmed also by Campos. I guess now Campos is not anymore involved in this, even with the death of Adrian Campos. Anyway, Monaco Increase Management website also mention as a driver David Vidales

          2. @f1frog Adrian Campos was granted an entry back in 2010, but his poor management resulted in José Ramón Carabante, one of his main investors, eventually pushing Campos out and replacing him with Kolles, with the team renamed Hispania Racing Team.

            Stefan GP was an entirely separate entity – the only overlap between him and Campos was that, when Campos defaulted on some of his payments to Dallara, Stefan basically tried to buy the car off Dallara and enter it himself. However, Carabante managed to secure enough funding to pay Dallara, so Stefan’s attempts to poach that chassis fell through.

          3. @f1frog They’re different teams, and Wehrlein at least was linked with both at different times.

      2. I think this is related to the Campos Racing rumour that appeared last year.

        This seems to have quite a few links of what Campos Racing should have been in F1 (before they were taken over by HRT) in 2010…..

    4. Businessman Salvatore Gandolfo, founder of management firm Monaco Increase Management, is behind the entry. Gandolfo previously revealed plans in 2019 for a new, Spanish-based team using junior outfit Campos Racing’s facilities.

      If this team makes it to the grid, i’ll attempt to eat a hat that I own.

      1. Don’t eat your hat too much metals and plastics just donate to a good cause!

        1. No worries @macleod I’ll donate my hat to ‘Mr Gandolfo at Monaco Increase Management’! I hope he’s a ‘large’.

    5. I assume any new team would at least start-off as a customer similar to how Haas did, and maybe always remain a customer too

      Could change of name point to them teaming up with Renault?

    6. Much catchier name than Gandolfo Racing

      I really doubt this will take off … But if it does, I hope it’s somewhat competitive and last a few years.

    7. Linus Wainewright
      8th February 2021, 18:17

      Whoever a new team is, it cannot be bad for F1 – we’ve spent years asking for more teams, this is the best news in F1 this year in my opinion. Hopefully some decent drivers will get a go…
      Hulkenback??? Hoping so…

      1. Should also say I’d guess the chance of this happening is closer to nil… Good to be positive though!

    8. I can already see the headlines in my head.
      Monaco F1 Racing wins in Made in Italy..

      1. But I’m not sure if this will be another Stefan GP or can they actually be on the grid?

    9. Are they going to be sponsored by Rich Energy? That may be the “big news” suspense that’s being “teased” (urgh, save us) on Twitter.

      Chip might want an explanation if Palou is being mentioned as a driver.

      1. Not George, is Palou linked with Chip for 2022 and beyond?

    10. Why not use the $200 million entry fee to safeguard the new team’s future? $200m is prohibitively expensive. By design I’m sure, to ensure entrants are serious about committing to the sport? But why not repay this to the new team, say in four annual €50m payments? This would ensure every penny of an entrant’s fee is an investment in the future of the team, whilst promoting the team’s financial security for the first four years.

      1. When they introduced this, it was more or less exactly what you state @swh1386 – The team would pay 200 million into the “pot” which would compensate the other teams for the new team being able to get a part of the F1 money pot right away (instead of not all teams getting money and instead of having to first wait at least 3 years to be able to qualify for getting F1 money at all)

        1. @bascb No, that’s not the same thing at all. @swh1386 is talking about something like the 1998-era $48 m bond, which was refunded to teams that lasted more than a year (in 36 instalments, which ceased if the team was ever not in a position to race). The other teams never saw the bond money; it was a matter for FOM (as was) and the entrant alone. It also partly compensated for the fact that teams had to survive at least 2 years without prize money (since eligibility took 2 years to obtain in the best-case scenario).

          The anti-dilution fund is divided among the non-entrant teams and never gets repaid… …and a team that finishes 11th will have neither prize money nor bond money to use to support themselves.

          1. But if they finish 7th (for example) in their first year, they will get a full share in the pot during the next season. Something they would not have gotten under the deals that were in place until now @alianora-la-canta

            1. @bascb However, there’s no guarantee that a new team can break into the top 10. A team that needed more than 12 months to beat another had something to fall back on, thus having an easier time securing funding than this system enables (backers hate risk).

    11. They should just go back to the way it was for decades & open up entry to anyone who is able to bring a car with drivers willing to drive it.

      Yes you may get some no hope teams but so what, That used to just be a part of the sport & some of those ‘no hope’ teams gave many a young driver, engineer, designer etc.. a start in the sport.

      When you open entry’s up only every so often & only allow certain teams the opportunity to enter is it any wander the sport feels so distant & disconnected from the public. It now feels like some sort of exclusive club which only the select few can take part in & that never used to be the case until the mid/late 90’s.

      And let us not forget that this approach gave us USF1, HRT, Marussia & Caterham when if things had been more open we would have got Lola & Prodrive who were teams that actually had a budget, A plan & in the case of Lola a car designed (The Lola MB-01) with a full scale model in the wind tunnel.

      The whole closed entry & selection process is & always has been a joke & totally against the spirit of the sport. Oh sorry I forgot F1 is no longer a sport, It’s some corporate show business with low attention span fans who don’t understand anything about the sport because they only see it as a show.

      I really do wish F1 would come back!

      1. Hear hear. If only a favored few can participate, then it’s not a sport but just a show. A sport is open to anyone who can compete.

      2. agree !!
        I used to love the variety of the teams of the early 90s, even if some were hopeless at least as already stated they gave opportunities to drivers and crew (plus they added so much colour and variety to the grid).

      3. Agree. Isn’t this the point of having the 107% rule anyway. Let them all come and if they aren’t fast enough apply the rule.

      4. Coventry Climax
        9th February 2021, 1:04

        That’s my line of thought, @Roger Ayles; completely agree. The name alone: ‘Anti Dilution Fee’, is reminiscent of a couple of very dark periods and despicable ideologies in modern history. (As is the name ‘Uber’, by the way, but that’s an entirely different story.)
        @Darryn Smith: Actually, it’s the other way around: The 107% rule is still in force, as far as I know. If newcomers don’t meet it, they’re not fast enough. But the rule was implemented to overcome dangerous situations with so-called ‘moving chicanes’, come raceday. Since we aren’t really racing anymore anyhow, and we have these silly blue flags and safetycars all the time, the rule might as well be abandoned, so even the ‘too slow’ teams can enhance the grid. Maybe these slow teams do great on fuel, tactics, tyre saving etc., and they’d still end up high on sunday? Or would that make the whole farce too obvious?

      5. I agree, too, with Roger !
        I understood that times were better when there were more private-run race-stables.
        They were pure sportspeople (well, mostly); they had no other agenda than giving everything to win.
        And it was more diverse, more colourful, and whenever there was a story of a dodgy dude to be told, or a Bailiff in the paddock to impound a team’s equipment (Jordan, Spa, 1991) and Bernie sent a scooter to collect money from all entrance’s cashiers to give him 200k in cash — whenever such things happened, it was better entertainment than without.

        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
        This Anti-Blah-Fee did not only miss the purpose of fixing a non existing problem (there were no illegible applicants because there were none at all), it worsened the chances that new prospects even start thinking about it.
        A classic decision in a sport with too many stakeholders having a say.
        Clear anti-sport rule. Easily contestable, legally.
        And to make it worse: shortly after announcement, they have to dilute their anti-dilution rule.
        U N B E L I E V A B L E !

      6. The easiest way to resolve this is to open up entries for 1 car teams. This would make it more affordable to the lower category teams as well as any new to motorsport.

        1. new idea — all ideas welcome !
          New teams could be supported via a pool of machines, abandoned by the established teams, for example.

    12. IMO, this is the type of entrant that the anti-dilution fee was created for.
      Sure, having one more team on the grid adds value to the sport, but that value is limited if they struggle to finish higher than the bottom 4 — and I don’t mean this as jab to existing teams who’s fortunes fluctuate season to season.
      Waiving the anti-dilution fee should only apply when the new entrant brings that much value to the sport — such as a major manufacturer. The fee should be waived if say Ford wanted to return as a factory team and engine supplier and made commitments to stay for at least 5 years.

    13. Opposite to illustrous contestants, perma-palaver about regulations is not entertainment, rather boring.
      We had such quarreling when it came to the Constructor-Championship bonus-payments for RacingPoint vs. Haas which had a bad taste, and now we might face more of that when one team shall be charged this utterly impudent, ludicrous, astronomical, MONSTROUS sum and another one might be waved through.
      How could someone have possibly come only nearby that idea …

    14. This is too bad, I was hoping they would enter under the Campos name. Now with the passing of Adrián Campos, that would have been a good way to honour his memory by finally fulfilling his dream of getting into F1 with his team. Oh well, perhaps his son (who seems to have taken over as team manager) will one day try it and succeed.

      1. Not sure if this team really could honor his name.

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