FIA president Mohammed Ben Sulayem asserts that the governing body can’t force existing teams to accept new squads.

The FIA is keen to add a new team to the grid and opened an expressions of interest earlier this year, with the deadline for applications recently closing.

However, several F1 teams have been coy over the possibility of an 11th team joining due to the disruption it would cause to the revenue shares.

There are believed to be a number of parties interested in forming a new squad, the most vocal of which is Andretti Global.

“There are a few teams wanting to come in,” Ben Sulayem confirmed to GrandPrix247. “We are happy that they express interest. 

“We have been working with FOM and with Stefano Domenicali [Formula 1 CEO]. That’s very important to do due diligence.

“And they realize that the FIA is also one of the main partners in that. And we both agree that having a team or a new team… we cannot really force big teams to say yes or no. It’s up to them.”

But Ben Sulayem has warned that the FIA can’t reject an application that meets the standards set out when it launched the expressions of interest.

“I can see the questions of the teams. It is something important,” he said. 

“We at FIA have also this concern. You know, when you’re talking about the expression of interest, I mean, there are still regulations there and we cannot shut the application down and say no, because we have another choice and we cannot also say no to them if they fulfil the application.

“So really, I understand the other teams’ concerns when it comes to another team. Also we’re not breaking the rules.

“And I would expect them to understand our position when it comes to that also. That’s the way we can go forward together. 

“As I said, I understand, but also I’m sure they will understand our position. One thing that I will not do is break the rules.”

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