F1 could have a team with equal gender split in 2026
F1 could have a team with a 50-50 percent split between men and women working in the outfit in 2026. The proposed team will reportedly be named 'Formula Equal' and will give women a well-defined route into the sport.
Craig Pollock, who was once the manager of 1997 F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve, disclosed the intentions of Formula Equal in an interview with CNN. He highlighted that the team's main objective was to create a pathway for women to access various roles in F1.
Formula Equal has become the most recent team to reveal aspirations for joining the sport, with the FIA initiating a tender process for new teams for 2025 and 2026. Andretti is the most high-profile contender among the applicants.
Pollock told CNN:
"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 concept and the idea was to try and build a Formula 1 team that is 50% male, 50% female, which is extremely hard to do if you have an existing Formula 1 team. This is a lot easier with a clean sheet."
The first time F1 snubbed the Andretti name
Mario Andretti is hopeful of entering the sport as a team owner but has encountered opposition from other teams. This is not the first time the Andretti family has faced rejection from F1.
In 1986, the American Haas team (not related to the team on the current grid) required a replacement for Patrick Tambay, who suffered a serious accident during the warm-up session for the Canadian GP.
Michael Andretti, son of Mario Andretti and winner of the Formula Super Vee and Formula Mondial series', was a suitable candidate as he was racing in the highly regarded CART series at the time.
However, the then-governing body of the sport, FISA, denied Andretti a super license to compete in the sport. At the time, the granting of a super license was less regulated than it is now, with a more informal system in place.
Consequently, Canadian driver Allen Berg was given the opportunity to replace Tambay that weekend, causing disappointment for Michael Andretti.
It would take another seven years for Andretti to make his F1 debut with McLaren, by which time he had won numerous CART races and even secured the 1991 championship title.