The FIA is actively looking for a new team to join for the Formula One grid, and has opened up the application process for any outfit looking to get in on the action.

The tender calls for a new team that would be ready to join the field for the start of either next year's world championship or the season after. The motorsport governing body outlined several criteria by which it would determine a candidate's suitability, including its technical capabilities and resources, financial viability, experience and the overall value it would bring to the series. The FIA did warn, however, that if "no applicant is considered suitable," then none would be selected.

If a new team is found to take part in the series, it wouldn't be the only one: the US-based Haas team is set to join the grid next season with considerable NASCAR experience in its corner as well as support from Ferrari. Prior to Haas, the last time new teams were added to the series was in 2010 when Caterham (née Lotus), Manor (Virgin) and HRT (Hispania) joined the field. However, both Caterham and HRT have since folded, and Manor isn't in particularly sound health either.

Assuming that Manor can stay afloat, the addition of Haas and another team would bring the field from the ten teams (or 20 cars) competing this season back up to the 12 teams (24 cars) it was at just a few years ago. What puzzles us is just what exactly the point is in opening up the application process for new "expansion" teams when the licenses already allotted to HRT and Caterham have still yet to be snapped up by any interested parties.

One way or another, if another team were found, it would likely emerge from the existing outfits currently competing in high-level feeder series like GP2, Formula 3, Formula Renault or even Indy. Stepping up from a spec-racing series, however, would require any new team to design and construct their own chassis and field two of them in what is arguably still the most competitive racing series in the world.

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