F1 team application to join grid with female driver in 2026 rejected

Rodin Cars acquired F2 team Carlin (pictured) as part of their junior programme   (Getty Images)
Rodin Cars acquired F2 team Carlin (pictured) as part of their junior programme (Getty Images)

Rodin Cars have revealed their application to join the Formula 1 grid in 2026 – with a female driver in one of their two seats – has been rejected by the FIA.

The statement from the New Zealand-based outfit added that they expect Andretti Global’s bid to be the only successful application.

Rodin’s founder David Dicker released a statement on Thursday explaining the decision and the main aspects of Rodin’s bid, detailing they would have had “no hesitation” in putting three-time W Series champion Jamie Chadwick in a race seat.

Formula 1 has not had a female racer since 1976, with Jessica Hawkins last week becoming the first woman in nearly five years to test an F1 car.

They also would have been based out of New Zealand, making them the only manufacturer in the southern hemisphere, and would have pursued a potential collaboration with Ferrari.

“Rodin Cars participated in the recent FIA process aimed at gaining entry into the prestigious Formula 1 World Championship - unfortunately, our bid was not successful,” Dicker said in a statement.

“This statement is intended to provide insight into the key points of our bid that we believe justified its merit. We wish to emphasise that our objective here is not to criticise the FIA or seek a reconsideration of its decision. We fully respect and accept the outcome.”

The statement adds that they have tested Chadwick and New Zealand drivers Liam Lawson – currently filling in for Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri – and youngster Louis Sharp in F3 cars and their own Rodin FZed car, which they claim is quicker than an F2 car.

Jamie Chadwick is a three-time W Series champion and is currently racing in US-based Indy NXT (Getty Images)
Jamie Chadwick is a three-time W Series champion and is currently racing in US-based Indy NXT (Getty Images)

Dicker also emphasised that Carlin have a history of junior open-wheel programmes in F4, GB3, F3 and F2, while Andretti only has a history in US racing.

The Australian chief insisted Rodin cars is “financially equipped to fully fund the Formula 1 program (sic) from the personal wealth of our founder” but nonetheless “extended our best wishes to Andretti for their successful bid.”

The FIA opened an expressions of interest process at the start of the year, with prospective entries invited to bid for a spot as an 11th team on the grid, potentially as early as when new regulations come into play in 2026.

Andretti - owned by Michael Andretti, the son of 1978 F1 world champion Mario - has already announced a partnership with General Motors’ brand Cadillac, while other applications include from British racing team Hitech GP.

The FIA and Formula 1 are yet to formally comment on the ongoing process.