Former British American Racing Formula 1 team principal Craig Pollock has confirmed he plans to return to the sport with a new team in 2026.
Earlier this year the FIA opened applications for new teams to enter F1 in 2025, 2026 or 2027. Pollock plans to submit an application for his new project, named Formula Equal.
He intends the team to include an even split between genders at all levels. “The concept and the idea was to try and build a F1 team, 50% male, 50% female, which is extremely hard to do if you have an existing F1 team,” he told CNN. “It’s a lot easier with a clean sheet of paper.”
The FIA previously indicated it will confirm at the end of next month which if any prospective new F1 teams have been selected. Among the criteria they will be judged on is “considerations of sustainability, EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion), and societal benefit”.
The backing for Pollock’s project is rumoured to come from Saudi Arabia, which joined the F1 calendar in 2021 with a race in Jeddah. The country is keen to increase its involvement in motorsport and has also hosted Formula E and the Dakar cross-country rally in recent years.
The president of the country’s motorsport federation, Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, said in January he is keen to attract teams to the country. Pollock said he is planning the “first F1 team that is truly outside of Europe”.
“This has to be built from the bottom up in a Gulf state and this is what we are aiming to do,” he said. “This is a long-term project – this is not short-term.”
Regarding the source of his funding, Pollock said his company is “in intense discussions” with “a Gulf area country”.
Pollock previously managed 1997 F1 champion Jacques Villeneuve. He formed the BAR team, backed by British American Tobacco, which entered the world championship in 1999 with Villeneuve as one of its two drivers. Pollock was replaced at the head of the team at the end of their third season of competition.
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