New Zealand’s Rodin Cars loses bid to join Formula One grid from 2025
The Formula One paddock stays above the equator as a bid by Rodin Cars – a New Zealand-based team owned by an Australian tech magnate – to enter the world’s top tier of motorsport is knocked back.
A New Zealand-based race-car manufacturer – owned by an Australian technology magnate – has been unsuccessful in its bid to take on Europe’s best in Formula One from 2025.
It has been confirmed today Rodin Cars – a manufacturer of F1-style, open-wheel racing cars based in New Zealand – made a bid to join the Formula One paddock from 2025, but was unsuccessful.
Reports say at least five submissions to join the Formula One grid have been made since the FIA – the governing body of F1, and other top global motorsport categories – opened the door in April 2023 for two new teams to join F1’s current 10 teams from 2025
Receiving the green light is required before any new motorsports outfit can field an entry in F1 – even if they have a team, a car, an engine, a significant amount of money, and a commitment that demonstrates long-term value and positive impact for the sport.
The detail around these bids is kept highly secret, with no officially communicated list of contenders or even a promise that any team will be successful at all. The other bids reportedly included a high-profile (and winning) entry from Andretti Cadillac Racing, as well as Hitech Grand Prix from the UK.
In a statement to media, Rodin Cars founder – Australian tech entrepreneur David Dicker – confirmed “Rodin Cars participated in the recent FIA process aimed at gaining entry into the prestigious Formula [One] World Championship. Unfortunately, our bid was not successful.”
Based north of Christchurch on New Zealand’s South Island, Rodin Cars produces F1-style, open-wheel racing cars available to purchase – and is the majority shareholder in the Rodin Carlin motorsport team currently third in the Formula Two support category this year.
Rodin has, since 1999, helped to promote more than 30 drivers to the F1 grid through a number of feeder and junior competition categories, it says.
It is a key sponsor of Kiwi Formula One driver Liam Lawson, who has for the past four races driven for AlphaTauri as a substitute for Australia’s Daniel Ricciardo, after he was injured during practice for the Dutch Grand Prix in August.
The FIA submission would have made Rodin Cars the only Formula One team based in the southern hemisphere.
All race car and component development and production would have been conducted at Rodin’s New Zealand factory and testing facility.
Last year Rodin unveiled its FZero track car that offer 853kW and 1026Nm from a 4.0-litre twin-turbo hybrid V10, delivering a power-to-weight ratio of 1222kW per tonne.
For context, that’s half the weight of a Lamborghini Huracan with twice the power.
While Rodin’s submission to the FIA states the FZero can ‘challenge Formula 1 lap times’, it also notes Rodin was considering Ferrari for an engine supply agreement.
The most surprising position put forward, though, was Rodin’s guarantee of a female driver in one of the team’s two seats if the bid had been successful.
“We committed to reserving one seat for a female driver,” said Mr Dicker in the statement. There have been five female drivers on the F1 grid since 1958, with the most recent being Italian Giovanna Amati who had three starts for Brabham in 1992.
In 2014, Williams test driver Susie Wolff took part in the first practice session for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone.
Whether any other teams or submissions also extended this commitment is unknown, and despite the FIA being particularly tight-lipped about all facets of the application process, Mr Dicker suggests a decision may be imminent.
“We appreciate the opportunity to have participated in the FIA process and extend our best wishes to Andretti for their successful bid. Rodin Cars remains committed to pushing the boundaries of motorsport and will continue to pursue excellence in the world of racing.”
From humble beginnings, to the global stage.
We are Andretti. pic.twitter.com/H8Z7znokqw
— Andretti Global (@AndrettiGlobal) September 5, 2023
Earlier this week, motorsport news publisher Motorsport.com said that Michael Andretti’s Cadillac-supported bid was the only submission still in contention, with the team recently rebranding to a slicker and more modern Andretti Global moniker.
If Rodin Cars had been successful, it would have been the first ever Australian or New Zealand-based Formula 1 team.
Both McLaren and Brabham are considered Australasian but both New Zealander Bruce McLaren and Australian Jack Brabham formed their respective teams in the UK.
The post New Zealand’s Rodin Cars loses bid to join Formula One grid from 2025 appeared first on Drive.