Rodin Cars, who promised female driver, loses bid to join F1

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New Zealand-based Rodin Cars said on Thursday its bid to enter Formula One as an 11th team and with a female driver had been rejected and it expected Andretti Global to be the only successful applicant.

Rodin's Australian founder David Dicker said in a statement the company had proposed building the cars in New Zealand, a move that would have made it the only manufacturer in the Southern Hemisphere.

It had also committed to reserving one seat for a female driver.

Britain's Jamie Chadwick, the three times winner of the now-folded all-female W Series, has tested for Rodin and would have been in line for the role if available.

Formula One has not had a female racer since 1976 and Chadwick, who has been racing in the U.S.-based IndyCar feeder series Indy NXT, lacks a super-licence.

Aston Martin's Jess Hawkins became the first woman in nearly five years to drive a contemporary Formula One car at an event in Budapest last week.

"Rodin Cars participated in the recent FIA process aimed at gaining entry into the prestigious Formula One World Championship," said Dicker.

"Unfortunately, our bid was not successful.

"Recent information suggests, as anticipated from the outset of this process, that the only successful applicant will be Andretti Global."

Dicker said Rodin had also "the opportunity of discussions for a Ferrari collaboration on the Rodin F1 car" and the company was "financially equipped to fully fund the Formula One program from the personal wealth of our founder."

Rodin is the majority shareholder in established feeder series operator Carlin, who run teams in Formula Four, Formula Three and Formula Two.

Andretti Global is run by American former F1 racer Michael Andretti, son of the 1978 world champion Mario, and plans to enter Formula One in partnership with General Motors' brand Cadillac and with at least one U.S. driver.

The governing FIA started a formal application process in February, seeking to identify one or more new teams interested in joining in 2025, 2026 or 2027. It has yet to confirm which, if any, applicants have been accepted.

Others include British racing team Hitech, backed by Kazakh billionaire businessman Vladimir Kim.

Some Formula One teams have been lukewarm towards expanding the grid beyond 10 entries, wary of diluting the overall pot of revenues.

Some also feel the current $200-million entry fee, which would be shared among the existing 10 teams as compensation, is not enough given the sport's recent surge in popularity and valuations.

All of the existing teams are European-based, a majority of them in England.