A company from New Zealand specializing in track cars capable of keeping up with modern race cars has revealed it applied for entry into Formula 1.
The company is Rodin, maker of the F1-inspired Fzed track car, and it announced on Thursday that its application to become an F1 team has been rejected by the FIA, the motorsports organizing body which sanctions F1.
In a statement, Rodin said it anticipates that America's Andretti Global will be the only successful new entry for F1. Other entries have been made by an Asia-based motorsports startup by the name of Lkysunz, as well as British racing team Hitech Grand Prix.
Andretti Global, run by Michael Andretti, owner of successful IndyCar team Andretti Autosport and son of 1978 F1 world champion Mario Andretti, has the backing of General Motors for its entry which if successful will compete as Andretti Cadillac.
In the interest of F1 fans, Rodin listed some of the reasons that support its cause. These include being based in New Zealand, which would have made Rodin the only team based in the southern hemisphere, being an actual car manufacturer with all the facilities to support an F1 team, and guaranteeing a seat for a female driver.
Rodin said it evaluated Jamie Chadwick and was impressed enough to offer the British racing driver a seat on its team if the entry was successful. She currently drives for Andretti Autosport in IndyCar's Indy NXT feeder series. Rodin also evaluated New Zealand driver Liam Lawson who is currently driving in F1 with AlphaTauri, as a replacement for the injured Daniel Ricciardo.
Rodin said its entry would have been fully funded via the personal wealth of company founder David Dicker, an Australian amateur racer and class champion of the Ferrari Challenge one-make series who made his fortune in the IT business.
Despite the setback, Rodin is proceeding with its own car manufacturing plans. The company is currently working on a V-10 successor to the V-8-powered Fzed. The new model will be called the Fzero and offer performance similar to an F1 car. Rodin said it is currently testing a prototype for the Fzero, but the company hasn't said when production will start.