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FIA President warns against 'manipulation' as new team decision timeline set

Ben Sulayem believes a "final decision" on new teams is to come in the coming months.

Ben Sulayem Michael Andretti
To news overview © XPBimages

FIA President Mohammed Ben Sulayem has confirmed F1's governing body will have a "final decision" on prospective new teams in the next "four to six" weeks.

Five teams are understood to have submitted a bid to the FIA to enter F1 from the 2025 season, with the process accounting for a prospective two new outfits to join the 10 incumbents.

Andretti Cadillac Racing has been at the forefront of the ongoing saga having faced stiff opposition to its efforts from those already on the grid.

The FIA process of reviewing the bids is ongoing, though F1 will also be involved in the final decision-making.

"I hope we can make the announcement next month," Ben Sulayem told Formula.hu.

"We are talking about serious people and we don't want to exclude anyone without a thorough review of the applications we have received.

"We are talking about big names and big money. I think the letter of intent (idea) was the right decision and the contract says that there can be 12 teams in the F1 field.

"Of course, we don't want just any team, we want A teams and we need a car manufacturer: I prefer manufacturers because it would be good for the sport.

"We've taken our time, the FIA team has worked very hard on the letter of intent, we've had meetings with the teams to review their bids and I think we'll have a final decision in four to six weeks."

Right thing for the sport

The opposition faced by new teams has come down to a matter of value to F1 and the current grid, with Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff leading calls for prospective teams to acquire existing stables.

"It's obviously a political and financial issue," added Ben Sulayem.

"But it's clear to me that the FIA has to respect the treaties and we are regulated by the EU. We cannot manipulate anything.

"If a team is interested and our rules say we can have so many teams, how can we say no?

"I understand the concerns of other teams, especially the financial part of it, the distribution of it, but I am not here to upset anyone, I am here to do the right thing for the sport.

"We're happy to sit down with everybody and give advice, but we can't say to a big team that wants to come into F1, go and buy a stable or you can't come. I think that's wrong."

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