It was claimed that another team planning to enter Formula 1 is “Project H26”.
29 March 2023 10:15
Earlier this year, the FIA announced that it was launching an application process for new teams to compete in Formula 1 from 2026.
A few contenders have already announced their plans, including Andretti Cadillac and Formula Equal’s Craig Pollock. According to Racingnews365, Oliver Oakes, who participated in Formula 2 and Formula 3 with the Hitech team, also applied to the FIA.
Oakes’ team, named Project H26, is already well advanced. After completing the official FIA application process, the team has begun recruitment and is using Mercedes’ main track at Silverstone.
Since the technical regulations for 2026 have not yet been established, the team is building the chassis according to the current rules. This is done to harmonize all the design and manufacturing processes. Therefore, once the relevant regulations are submitted (June 2024) and the application for participation is approved, they will be able to start work on the 2026 tool immediately.
Sources close to the team suggest that the team prefers Mercedes as their engine partner. Additionally, the H26 could have Mercedes “B-team” status, which has been Racing Point/Aston Martin in recent years.
In terms of personnel, some important names have already joined H26. The project is led by Dave Greenwood, a former Ferrari engineer with extensive experience in Formula 1 and endurance racing. Mark Smith, who has previously worked at Renault, Red Bull Racing and Caterham, serves as technical director.
Keith Barclay, formerly of Renault/Red Bull Racing, was invited to serve as Chief Designer. James Knapton, who has served in various Formula 1 teams, was appointed head of the research department.
The project is currently being run at the former Hitech factory in Silverstone, but the F1 team will be based in a new building in Bicester. It is understood that local authorities have already granted planning permission.
The sources of funding for the project were not disclosed, but Oliver Oakes is said to be partnering with an oil company from the UAE.
Hitech has yet to officially comment on its plans to enter Formula 1.