Former BAR boss planning F1 return with equal-gender team

Craig Pollock (left) is planning on a return to F1 with a gender-equal team

Former BAR boss Craig Pollock (left) is planning on a return to F1 with a gender-equal team

A team that plans on an equal gender split throughout the organisation – including drivers – is in the pipeline for a possible F1 entry.

The frontman for the team, currently known as ‘Formula Equal‘, is Craig Pollock who founded British American Racing (BAR), serving as its CEO and team principal from 1999-2002. He was also Jacques Villeneuve’s manager for many years.

After the FIA earlier this year opened the ‘Expressions of Interest’ process to allow new teams into F1, Pollock sees a chance to be truly innovative with his planned operation.

“Our ambition is to deliver and build opportunities and pathways for women to get to the very top level inside motorsports,” Pollock told CNN.

“The concept and the idea is to try and build a Formula 1 team – 50 percent male, 50 percent female – which is extremely hard to do if you have an existing Formula 1 team. It’s a lot easier with a clean sheet of paper.”

Pollock is aware, however, of the challenges he faces in building such a team from scratch, even if it would tick the box in one area of the FIA’s application process with regard to ‘considerations of sustainability, EDI (Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion), and societal benefit”.

“We know that we are going to have to go through our academy systems,” said Pollock.

“We know we’re going to have to build it up because there are not enough women at the moment who are trained up to the level of Formula 1 and they’ve got to earn a place in there at the same time.”

Saudi Arabia understood to be project backers

In terms of financial backing, Pollock claims he is “in intense discussions with, I would just say, a Gulf-area country.”

This is understood to be Saudi Arabia given comments of late from various senior officials, such as the president of its motorsport federation, Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al Faisal, with regard to the country getting into F1.

Pressed on the matter, Pollock said: “I’m not really in the position to talk about that and be fully open about it at this present time.

“That will come out in the very near future. And I just hope it’s going to work because it does take a lot of money.”

As far as the Briton is concerned, the team would be the first in F1 “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, not short-term.”

This is Pollock’s second attempt to return to F1 since leaving BAR.

In 2011, Pollock announced plans to enter the sport with a power unit engineering company but failed to gain the outside investment that was required to get the project off the ground.

Join the discussion below in the comments section

Please note: reserves the right to remove any comment that does not follow the comment policy. For support, contact [email protected]