Audi F1 Forum banner

Saudi Arabian team could join F1

727 Views 2 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  Vorsprung
Vision care Beard Eyewear Sunglasses Gesture

RacingNews365 is reporting that a new team funded by Saudi Arabia could be joining F1. That would certainly shake things up if that comes to fruition.

Then, there is a Swiss-based project originally revealed by RacingNews365, about which little was known save that it is headed up by Craig Pollock (pictured below with 1997 World Champion Jacques Villeneuve), who founded British American Racing by acquiring Tyrrell with a pile of tobacco and converting the traditional British team into BAR, which morphed into the current Mercedes F1 operation - same address and same basic buildings and facilities; merely updated over 20 years.

Having been tipped off that Pollock, who brought Jacques Villeneuve into CART and F1 before founding BAR and has spent four years of his life on the latest project, had originally conceived the broad idea of an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) team aiming for a 50/50 gender quotient across the entire operation - including, when the talent emerges, in the cockpit – RacingNews365 approached the Scotsman.

As expected, he was tight-lipped save to confirm that he had submitted the EoI documentation required to date – in any event confirmed by FIA sources - and that he was in talks with some serious investors. Who could his backers be?

Rumours in Jeddah linked Pollock to Saudi Arabian figures, said to be keen on a) having a F1 team officially represent the Kingdom at world championship level as opposed to being ‘merely’ a promoter and global partner to the sport, and b) do so in conjunction with an operation that has EDI at its core.

Thus, RacingNews365 exclusively approached Prince Khalid (pictured below), President of the Saudi Motorsport Federation, for comment.

“It’s still in the very early stages,” the Prince admitted, adding, “there are lots of feasibility studies, there’s a lot of things we still need to do and consider. Now things are a lot easier to enter Formula 1, but there’s a lot to do before we take the final decision.

“Hopefully we can sort a lot of things soon and not later, because to enter Formula 1 later will cost a lot more. We are looking closely, and we have a lot of interest.”
He did, though, stop short of admitting that a EDI project was under consideration, saying only, “It is too early to go into these kind of details.” No denial, then…

However, during an earlier select media conference the Saudi had admitted that the Kingdom was hoping to turn “Motorsport into a profitable business,” in the country, adding, “It’s our goal to bring the knowhow, experience and expertise [to Saudi Arabia]; its our goal not just to host events.

“We want to have a bigger role in Formula 1, we want a Saudi team hopefully, one day in the near future we want to have Saudi mechanics, maybe we can start manufacturing cars here, maybe move some of the [team] headquarters to Saudi.”

Thus, the ambitions and goals exist, EDI obviously ticks a number of regulatory and societal boxes, funding is clearly no problem and the well-connected Pollock’s previous experiences in managing a champion driver and two F1 teams will obviously stand in good stead. On that basis it is difficult to foresee the FIA turning down the EoI; ditto, it will be difficult for F1 and the teams to block a Saudi entry on commercial grounds.

Ultimately it will come down to royal blessing – as it always does in Saudi Arabia.
See less See more
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Safe to say it will be an F1 team that won't have to worry about going bankrupt.
Safe to say it will be an F1 team that won't have to worry about going bankrupt.
For the other teams it's a good thing the spending limits are already in place haha.
1 - 3 of 3 Posts