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Monaco-based firm reiterates interest in F1 team entry

The renamed Monaco F1 Racing Team Project has reiterated its interest in entering Formula 1 in the future and hopes the $200m entry fee for new squads can be waived.

In October 2019 Monaco Increase Management, a firm led by businessman Salvatore Gandolfo, revealed its ambitions to enter Formula 1 in 2021 in conjunction with junior squad Campos Racing.

It outlined that it had held meetings with Formula 1 chiefs Ross Brawn and then CEO Chase Carey and had hired Peter McCool and Ben Wood as Technical Director and Chief Aerodynamicist respectively.

MIM also manages several drivers in motorsport, most notably Porsche Formula E racer Pascal Wehrlein, who previously competed for Manor and Sauber in Formula 1, and Ganassi IndyCar racer Alex Palou.

Last summer MIM affirmed that its project was still in the pipelines as it awaited better visibility on the outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Formula 1 is still introducing a budget cap this year, lowered to $145m from the original $175m, but the proposed new technical regulations have been deferred by 12 months.

Haas was the last new team in Formula 1, joining in 2016, while its three predecessors – Lotus Racing, Virgin and Hispania – entered in 2010, enticed by tighter financial restrictions that were ultimately scrapped.

Formula 1 last year ratified a proposal that any new team seeking to join would have to pay $200m in order to protect the value of existing squads and also to dissuade inappropriate parties.

However new Formula 1 CEO Stefano Domenicali recently suggested that the fee could be waived in the right circumstances.

In a statement released by MIM on Monday, Gandolfo said that “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 Regulation that was initially supposed to come into force in 2021 (and was subsequently delayed because of the pandemic).

“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.”

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