A new project based in Monaco – simply called the Monaco F1 Racing Team – is aiming to join the grid at some point in the future, spurred on by a recent comment by F1 boss Stefano Domenicali.
The project – spearheaded by management firm Monaco Increase Management (MIM) founded by Salvatore Gandolfo – is a second effort by the latter to put an F1 team on its rails.
In 2019, Gandolfo’s MIM hooked up with junior outfit Campos Racing to study the feasibility of fielding a Spanish-based outfit in F1. At the time, discussions were held with then F1 boss Chase Carey although nothing concrete came out of the talks.
Nonetheless, MIM apparently kept its project idling and even targeted an entry in 2021, as F1 introduced the sport’s budget cap and regulation overhaul.
But following last year’s disrupted season, the new rule book was pushed back to 2022, while F1 included its 2021-25 Concorde Agreement a provision that forces any new entrant to pay a massive $200 million ‘anti-dilution’ entry fee, with the amount divided among F1’s current ten teams.
However, last week, F1’s Domenical said that he would be prepared to waive the hefty fee that protects the teams’ current prize money distribution under certain specific conditions, pertaining to “cases that need to go deeper into the discussion without that money.”
That potential opening is appealing to Gandolfo and now represents a solid incentive for him to work on bringing his project to a concrete reality.
“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),” said MIM in a statement published on Monday.
“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.”
The Principality’s Automobile Club de Monaco, the promoter of the F1 Grand Prix, has reportedly not objected to MIM calling its project ‘Monaco F1 Racing Team’.