Alpine’s executive director Marcin Budkowski has confirmed that the team have been in contact with “prospective entrants” into Formula 1, working alongside them as an engine supplier.
Alpine – Renault’s works team – are the only car using a power unit produced by the French manufacturer, after McLaren’s switch to Mercedes engines this year.
The current ten teams have remained constant in F1 since 2016 when Haas joined the grid.
But several new initiatives including the cost cap and next year’s major regulation overhaul could attract new teams to the sport.
Representatives from Volkswagen, Audi and Porsche were all present in engine talks earlier this season about the companies joining the grid in upcoming years.
Budkowski has confirmed that Alpine has also been in discussion with other parties.
“There’s people who are interested in entering the sport,” said Budkowski, as quoted by The Race.
“Some of them have made themselves public and have been covered in the press over the past couple of years. Some of them have not looked for publicity or public knowledge.
“There’s a lot of people interested in Formula 1 because it’s a great sport and hopefully it is going to become a sustainable and maybe profitable business with the cost cap and improved prize fund.
“So, there’s lots of interest. We have talked to prospective entrants. At the moment it hasn’t really borne fruit in terms of a new entrant.
“Obviously, it’s not that easy. The FIA needs to open a tender and then it needs to be a process going through.
“If there was a good project being mounted with someone with financing and good and a clever approach to building a new team then we are open to discussion and consider supporting that operation with an engine or powertrain supply.
“It’s not easy to start a Formula 1 team from scratch. It’s also not easy to compete in F1 with an existing team. But starting from scratch is a massive endeavour.”
Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi confirmed earlier in the year that collaborations with other teams had not been ruled out but were not being pursued.
The Enstone team has also been critical in the past about joint ownership structures and other outfits collaborating too closely, and Budkowski confirmed that these concerns remain as F1 moves into a new era.
“I’m not going to accuse people because I don’t know and I hope nothing is happening,” he added.
“Clearly going into 2022 with a massive change of regulations, big development slope, lots of performance being gained on this very green set of regulations, the benefit you can get from collaboration – whether it is legal or less [than legal] – are massive.
“And if there’s a year where these kinds of collaborations can pay off it’s this year, for 2022. So if there’s a year where we expect the FIA to be really all over it, it’s this year.”
Image credits: f1.com
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