[Rodin’s failed F1 bid had seat reserved for female driver
As revealed by Motorsport.com over the Japanese Grand Prix weekend, Rodin was one of three new F1 team entries that failed to make it past the final selection round from the FIA to join the grand prix grid from 2025 at the earliest.
Their notification means that Andretti Global is now the only squad that still remains in the running, with it anticipated that the American squad will be given the green light by the FIA, subject to it being able to agree commercial terms with FOM.
Although Rodin, which invested in the highly-respected Carlin junior outfit earlier this year, never formally announced its plan prior to the FIA selection process, it has now offered some more details about what it had intended to do.
In a statement issued on Thursday, it confirmed that its bid to join F1 had not been successful but suggested that what it had lined up “justified its merit.”
“We wish to emphasise that our objective here is not to criticise the FIA or seek a reconsideration of its decision,” the company said: “We fully respect and accept the outcome. Our sole purpose is to release information we consider in the public interest to inform the Formula 1 community.”
Rodin planned to construct its F1 cars from its factory in New Zealand, which includes a full engine facility as well as composite capabilities and its own test track. It recently assembled, fabricated and tested its FZero track car there.
While building its own engine for F1 was not on the radar, Rodin suggested that it had the ‘opportunity of discussions for a Ferrari collaboration’ on its F1 project – although it is unclear exactly how far advanced any negotiations were with the Maranello organisation.
Photo by: Indy Lights
Most interestingly, Rodin said that part of its submission included a commitment to have one female driver in its F1 line-up – with three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick a clear target.
Rodin said: “We committed to reserving one seat for a female driver. We have tested Liam Lawson, Jamie Chadwick and Louis Sharp at our facility in New Zealand, in both an F3 car and our own car, the Rodin FZed, which is a car somewhat quicker than a GP2/F2 car. Jamie performed exceptionally well, and if she was available, we would have no hesitation in putting her in a seat.”
Rodin also believed that, through its ownership of Carlin, it had in place a successful pathway through the junior series for drivers – with the team competing in F4, GB3, F3 and F2.
It added: “While Andretti has a long history of successful participation in U.S. racing, our program offers a direct ladder to an F1 drive by competing in UK and European championships.”
On the financial front, the team believed it could fully fund the F1 operation through the personal wealth of founder David Dicker, who is believed to be worth more than $1 billion.
While disappointed to have missed out on the F1 opportunity this time around, Rodin said it would continue pushing hard with its other motorsport projects.
“We appreciate the opportunity to have participated in the FIA process and extend our best wishes to Andretti for their successful bid,” it added. “Rodin Cars remains committed to pushing the boundaries of motorsport and will continue to pursue excellence in the world of racing.”