F1 open doors to new entrants

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The Independent Online

The FIA have today started the selection process for a 13th team to compete in Formula One for at least two years from 2011 onwards.

In the wake of US F1's failure to take their place on the grid as was expected this season, motor sport's governing body has opened the door to potential new entrants.

Initially, the FIA have asked for expressions of interest from any potential new team, insisting "the overall long-term interests of the championship will determine which candidates are selected."

The closing deadline is Thursday, April 15, to be accompanied by an administration fee of 1,000 euros (£900), following which the formal application process will then commence.

All applicants will then undergo thorough due diligence, and be required to prove their suitability to compete in the sport in four key areas.

They are: the technical ability and resources of the team; ability to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation; the team's experience and human resources; the FIA's assessment of the value the candidate may bring to the championship as a whole.

The FIA are determined to avoid the problems that plagued US F1, as well as Hispania Racing who, due to financial difficulties, turned a wheel for the first time in last Friday's first practice ahead of the Bahrain Grand Prix.

The FIA have requested all completed applications are to be submitted by the end of June, with an announcement on the successful candidate to be made the following month.

The Federation have also indicated the possibility of identifying one or more possible 'reserve' entrants to fill any vacancies that may arise.

Stefan GP, who had hoped to fill the slot vacated by US F1, will be amongst those teams eager to secure the place, with David Richards' Prodrive organisation another likely candidate.