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2013-12-12 07:49

ALAN BALDWIN

SEEKING NEW COMPETITION The International Automobile Federation has appealed to potential F1 teams to apply to compete in the sport from 2015. Applications need to be in by February 2014. Image: AFP

LONDON, England  - Formula 1's governing body has asked for "expressions of interest" from would-be teams that could enter the sport from 2015 or 2016.

The International Automobile Federation posted a note on its website announcing thus: "A new selection process to identify a candidate team to participate at a competitive level. The overall long-term interests of the championship will determine which candidates are selected."

The singular and plural rather confusing the issue.

NEW MONEY?

F1 most recently admitted new constructors in 2010 when Hispania, Virgin Racing and Malaysian-owned Lotus Racing expanded a depleted grid to 12 teams after the departure of Honda, Toyota and BMW.

Hispania later became HRT but folded at the end of 2012; Virgin became Marussia; Lotus Racing now competes as Caterham.

The federation's move comes at a time of renewed speculation about the financial health of even some of established teams and an increasing need for drivers who can bring sponsorship with them.

Kimi Raikkonen, 2007 F1 champion, cited non-payment of his salary as one reason why he decided to leave Lotus and return to Ferrari for 2014.

The federation said the precise terms of the selection process would be communicated to those who registered a formal expression of interest by 5pm Paris time on January 3 2014.

Interested parties would be required to send an initial administration fee of an equivalent of R52 000 and the identity of each shareholder and ultimate beneficiary of all shares.

The total fee required from each of those submitting a full application would be the equivalent of R1.3-million.

"The FIA anticipates that full applications will need to be submitted by February 10, 2014, leading to a decision on February 28 2014," the governing body added.
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