New Zealand manufacturer Rodin has revealed that its rejected bid to join the Formula 1 grid had promised to field a female driver.

Rodin was one of three entries that had been reported to have failed to make it through to the FIA’s final selection round.

It is understood that Andretti Global are the only applicant still in the running and could join the 2025 F1 grid provided the bid receives the green light from both the FIA and FOM.

While Rodin never formally announced plans to join the F1 grid, a statement has now been issued by the company stating that the application “justified its merit”.

“We wish to emphasise that our objective here is not to criticise the FIA or seek a reconsideration of its decision,” the statement read.

“We fully respect and accept the outcome. Our sole purpose is to release information we consider in the public interest to inform the Formula 1 community.” 

Officially established in 2016, the track-car manufacturer is based on New Zealand’s South Island. The company’s complex at Wandle Downs near Mt. Lyford includes three separate test tracks, engine and composite facilities nestled away in the valleys of the Southern Alps.

While Rodin’s business focuses primarily on the production of track-specific race cars for private ownership, the company invested heavily in the highly respected Carlin junior racing team earlier this year.

Emphasising its commitment to motorsports, a successful bid from Rodin hoped to bring production of F1 cars to New Zealand. The company had also revealed that it had the ‘opportunity of discussions for a Ferrari collaboration’ – although it is not known how far any negotiations went.

Race winner Jamie Chadwick (GBR) Jenner Racing celebrates on the podium.
02.07.2022. W Series, Rd 3, Silverstone, England, Race Day.
–, EMail: © Copyright: XPB Images

The group also disclosed that Rodin had committed to bring a female F1 driver to the grid with three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick the clear favourite.

Chadwick entered a long-term partnership with Rodin Cars in 2020 and has played a role in the development of the manufacturer’s FZERO and FZED projects.

“We committed to reserving one seat for a female driver. We have tested Liam Lawson, Jamie Chadwick and Louis Sharp at our facility in New Zealand, in both an F3 car and our own car, the Rodin FZed, which is a car somewhat quicker than a GP2/F2 car,” Rodin confirmed.

“Jamie performed exceptionally well, and if she was available, we would have no hesitation in putting her in a seat.” 

Rodin had also hoped that its existing relationship with Carlin would tempt the FIA and FOM into accepting a proposal as it would produce a clear pathway for driver development: “While Andretti has a long history of successful participation in U.S. racing, our program offers a direct ladder to an F1 drive by competing in UK and European championships.” 

The team believed that it would be able to fully fund an entry using the personal wealth of founder David Dicker. Dicker is the founder, chief executive and chairman of Australian tech giant Dicker Data. Dicker himself is believed to be worth more than $1 billion.

“We appreciate the opportunity to have participated in the FIA process and extend our best wishes to Andretti for their successful bid,” the statement continued.

“Rodin Cars remains committed to pushing the boundaries of motorsport and will continue to pursue excellence in the world of racing.”

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