Is it end of story for Panthera Team Asia F1? We now know that a new team has to pay a fee of 200 million dollar to the other teams. The teams will distribute the money between them. In perspective, the budget cap they introduce per 2022 makes no sense if you have pay this amount of money. Benjamin Durand the team owner said that this move was not the best for the team.
Lets go back to the summer of 2019, when Panthera Team Asia F1 announced their interest to debut in the Formula One soon. Their first aim was to be 2021. However, this became 2022 as there would be new regulations in the Formula One. The teams have signed indeed the new Concorde-Agreement. Though not in interest for potential new teams if you ask me. Last year I wrote this article about Panthera.
Earlier this year the news appeared that the team aimed to debut in 2022. The budget cap is the biggest reason to debut in 2022 instead of 2021. Next year would be stupid as well, as you would need to build two brand new cars in a year time. More teams have been rumoured, as the budget cap is introduced.
The main issue with the new regulations is the 200 million dollar fee a new team has to pay the existing teams. It is a lot of money only to have the green light to work on your debut. Fair enough, 2020 is not the best year for companies. Many have seen their financial position seen shrink. Covid-19 ruins it all. Do you think a new team is able to find 200 million dollar?
However, Panthera keeps positive, more or less. In an interview with grandprix247.com he explained that the fee is far from helping his team. However, he seemed to understand why the teams are asking this amount of money. Currently panthera holds meetings with their backers to see what options they have left. Will they keep their focus on Formula One? Will they choose a different race series?
Well, there are two stories circulating currently regarding Panthera. The first one is the debut in 2025. Therefore, the team has time to find the needed 200 million dollar. The other story comes from Cyril Abiteboul from Renault. Which stated that several “new” teams have asked Renault if they would be ready to supply them. This means a team with potential. It has been said Panthera is one of these teams.