It isn’t just Andretti that wants to get into F1 as news has broke promising a “Gulf area”- backed team entering the sport. The team is named Formula Equal and is expecting to operate with a 50/50 split of men and women in the outfit. It is believed that Saudi Arabia is the mystery “Gulf area country.”
This information comes from an interview with ex-BAR team boss, Craig Pollock, who revealed the plans in an interview with CNN. Formula Equal (which sounds like a brand of artificial sweeteners) is the latest F1 applicant since the FIA launched their new Expression of Interest process for prospective team entrants, in addition to Hitech and Panthera Team Asia.
According to Pollock, “This has been going on for close on four years, the building up of a brand new Formula 1 team, but taking into it our ambition to deliver and build opportunities and pathways for women to get to the very top level inside motorsports.”
The idea of a 50/50 split is something Pollock believes is much easier to achieve when you are starting from scratch but admits that this probably won’t extend to the drivers as there is a lack of women racers with the required superlicense points to reach F1. Though the 50/50 split will be extended to all facets of engineering and at the board level.
“I think it’d be absolutely fantastic [to have a female driver],” said Pollock. “But the reality is to be able to get into the cockpit of a Formula 1 car, you’ve got to have a certain number of points on your superlicense. I can’t put my hand on my heart and say yes, but we are keeping a very close eye on it. I just hope for the women that this is the case.”
The hot topic question though is whether or not Saudi Arabia are involved in the team, but all Pollock would reveal was there are “intense discussions with a Gulf area country” to base the team in the Middle East. The benefit being the abundance of flight connections in the area.
“I’m not really in the position to talk about that and be fully open about it at this present time – that will come out in the very near future,” said Pollock.