“We’ll make the whole car here (New Zealand) and make sure we put a woman in one of the seats,” Decker said. Motorsports. “We will be the only team to have a full rookie programme. We have covered the full range from F4 all the way up to F2 and no one else is close to doing it.
“A lot of people would be really interested in bringing a team that was based in New Zealand into the F1 programme. It will do a lot for Formula 1.”
Led by former bar boss Craig Bullock, Formula Equal is looking to equal the top spot in motorsport’s ultimate series – building a team with a 50/50 split between male and female workers.
According to some reports, the team has been in talks with an “unnamed Gulf country” that will fund its spot on the network from 2026 onwards if its bid is successful.
“Our ambition (is) to provide and build opportunities and pathways for women to reach the highest level within motorsport,” said Pollock. CNN. “We know we’re going to have to go through our academy systems, we know we’re going to have to build it up because there aren’t enough women right now who’ve trained up to Formula 1 level and have got a place there at the same time.
This has to be built from the bottom up in a Gulf country and that is what we aim to do. This is a long-term project – this is not a short-term project.
Designed to be a ‘disruptor’ in the world of motorsport, LKY SUNZ is a potential F1 team based in Asia and funded by the US, hoping to join the grid in 2026.
Following the series’ recent rise in popularity, co-founder Benjamin Doran – who previously took part in another F1 entry in 2019 with the Panthera Team Asia project – wants this team to “work outside the traditional F1 lanes” and bring opportunities to unrepresented communities into F1.
“We are excited to see our investors share our vision of merging youth and racing culture to create a team that will disrupt Formula One,” said Durand. “The sport’s popularity has grown exponentially and every existing sport stakeholder has accounted for it, but our guiding principle is to bring something different into sport to attract new audiences.
“We of course aim to be competitive on the track but are also committed to entertaining fans off the track. To support our plans, we have already put together an incredible team of motorsports executives, music and entertainment industry experts and creators who will help make this vision come true.”
Audi: Another new name on the grid for 2026
Having reached an agreement with Sauber to become the F1 works team in 2026 through a ‘strategic partnership’, Audi will (as of now) be the newest name on the grid in 2026, but is not part of the new team introduction process.
The manufacturer has taken a minority stake in the team, known as Alfa Romeo until the end of this season, when it will likely return to Sauber before rebranding to Audi in 2026.
While Sauber will continue to manufacture and develop its racing car from its headquarters in Hinwil, Audi will focus its efforts on the power unit – focused on electrification and 100% sustainable fuel economy.
Although decisions on driver line-ups and other key personnel are likely to be made from 2025 onwards, Sauber has appointed former McLaren team principal Andreas Seidl as its new CEO, with the aim of overseeing Audi’s transition to Formula 1 in the coming seasons.
Recently, Audi also brought in former Red Bull reserve driver and 2016 Le Mans winner Neel Jani as a reserve driver to help develop the power unit, although official testing is not scheduled to begin until 2025.
New engine suppliers
Along with the new teams, there were also two new power unit suppliers confirmed for 2026: Audi and Ford. Honda has confirmed that it will continue to supply Aston Martin in Formula 1, despite announcing its withdrawal from the series in 2020.
As mentioned earlier, Audi will focus on producing the power unit for its 2026 team, while Ford has teamed up with Red Bull.
The American company is returning to Formula 1, having produced engines and power units for nearly three-quarters of the world championship’s existence – propelling the likes of Jim Clark, James Hunt and Mario Andretti to title success.
She left the series after a disastrous stint with Jaguar in the early 2000s, but will return in a technical partnership with Red Bull Powertrains in 2026.
“As an independent engine manufacturer, having the ability to draw on the expertise of a carmaker like Ford puts us in a good position against the competition,” said Christian Horner, Red Bull team principal.