Martin Brundle hopes to see two new teams enter Formula 1 and beef up the grid to 24 cars, to add to the ‘show’ in place in the sport.
The FIA officially opened its application process for up to two new teams to get onto the grid from the 2025 season onwards, with General Motors confirming to PlanetF1.com their intent to submit their joint application with Andretti Autosport through Cadillac.
Panthera Team Asia boss Benjamin Durand also spoke to PlanetF1.com and confirmed his interest in entering Formula 1 in future, when the FIA’s ‘expressions of interest’ process was announced at the beginning of January.
Applications are set to close at the end of April, before decisions are made by the FIA and Formula One Management (FOM) and the current teams themselves by the end of June, with the teams all receiving a vote on whether new constructors are allowed onto the grid, per the current terms of the Concorde Agreement.
This makes adding teams to the grid far from a guarantee, with some team bosses expressing worries over prize money being reduced with it being spread between more teams, as well as concerns about how much new teams would bring to the grid.
But for ex-Formula 1 driver Brundle, the Sky analyst thinks a 24-car grid would add to the spectacle of Formula 1, and the current interest in the sport from global manufacturers makes it the right time to get involved, in the wake of Ford announcing their power unit partnership with Red Bull on Friday.
“Getting more teams in is a logistical thing as well as a financial aspect, you know, will they fit in the pit lane, the paddock, on the grid?” Brundle said on Sky Sports F1.
“How many cars do we need? I think 24 cars will be great personally, we’ve got 29 races this season, 23 grands prix and six sprint races with 20 cars on the grid. I don’t think it’s quite enough of a show, personally, and opportunity.
“But if you look at the Ford thing, it’s a halfway house really – it’s an interesting one. Red Bull had Infiniti on for a while, then it had Aston Martin on the side of it for a while before Aston got their own team, so this is a branding thing.
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“What I find most interesting here is all of the world’s car manufacturers are totally focused on electric cars, EVs, coming up. And yet if you look at the Ford announcement today, they love the idea of the technology, sustainability, sustainable fuels and the opportunity and then, basically, eyeballs – the number of people who are watching Formula 1 now who are not watching other formula with just battery power, for example.
“So it’s interesting that they’re even wanting to be involved in Formula 1 but it’s just the might that it has at the moment. So they’re coming in in different ways.”
The FIA also confirmed on Friday that six power unit manufacturers will be on the grid when the sport’s engine regulations reset in 2026, with Red Bull Ford being joined by Ferrari, Alpine, Mercedes, Honda and Audi.
While Honda do not yet have a team attached to them from that time, with their current deal with Red Bull now ending in 2025, Brundle feels having such variety is great news for the sport – particularly given the state of where things were 15 years ago.
“So what we do know it looks like we’ve got six original equipment manufacturers, OEMs, as they’re called, signed up for the new 2026 motor,” he said.
“I did an interview about the new Brawn documentary coming out and back in 2008, 2009, Honda pulled out, we lost Super Aguri at the same time.
“The following year, BMW pulled out, then Toyota withdrew completely, and we were terrified where that was all heading and maybe we’re going to have to get Cosworth motors in and Judd motors in, and suddenly here we are with six manufacturers signed up for the long term. So, overall, really good news for F1.”