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Rodin Motorsport: The renaming of a feeder series stalwart

Written by Alejandra Guajardo Lozano, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri

Image Credits - Autosport

Carlin Motorsport have been known as one of motorsport’s biggest names. They have race-winning experience across various motorsport categories, including GB3, Formula Renault 3.5, A1GP, the FIA F2 and F3 Championships, and F4. 

Among their most esteemed alumni include the likes of Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Rosberg, Lando Norris, and Yuki Tsunoda, all having donned the overalls of the team at one point. Many young talents have raced for the team, and on their current roster include 2022 Formula 3 runner-up Zane Maloney, now with the Sauber Academy, and 2023 Super Formula Champion Ritomo Miyata, driving in his first year of Formula 2. 

The most successful Carlin graduate is no one other than the four-time F1 world champion, Sebastian Vettel. He raced with Carlin in the Renault 3.5 series, immediately showing his talent and becoming a title contender after a win, pole, and fastest lap in his second week before his move to Toro Rosso later that season.

Daniel Ricciardo is another famous name and graduate of Carlin. Ricciardo became a favorite within the team after claiming the 2009 British Formula 3 Championship, with seven wins and 13 podiums. Having served as a reserve driver for HRT, he soon joined the Formula One grid, and the rest is history.

2016 F1 world champion Nico Rosberg is also a Carlin graduate. He won the 2005 GP2 series with the team to then graduate to Formula One, driving for Williams in 2006. 

McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris spent his entire junior career with Carlin. He earned the team a British F4 and European FIA F3 title, before finishing runners-up . 

After 27 years, 35 championships in total (drivers and constructors’ titles), and 29 F1 graduates, the historic team has been renamed after founder Trevor Carlin’s resignation.

The team now transitions into Rodin Motorsport, given by David Dicker, the CEO of New Zealand car manufacturer Rodin Cars. Dicker bought out the stake previously belonging to parent company Capsicum Motorsport, owned by entrepreneur Grahame Chilton, father of former Formula One racer Max Chilton. 

Trevor’s wife Stephanie Carlin assumed the role of deputy team principal in 2022. She also served as the team principal of Extreme E team X44, a team owned by the seven-time Formula One world champion, Lewis Hamilton. 

Rodin Cars general manager Emma Duncan was named as the new director of the company after the renaming. Subsequently, Stephanie left to join McLaren’s Formula One team as business operations director.

So why did Trevor Carlin resign? 

In 2023, the Carlins were contracted to run modified F2 cars for the new F1 movie directed by Joseph Kosinski and starring Brad Pitt. This project was a source of significant financial revenue for Carlin, but not for the team, who were in crippling debt. This supposedly led to a professional disagreement between Dicker and Carlin, resulting in the latter’s resignation.

Rodin Cars was founded in 2016 by Dicker. Rodin has financially supported the careers of many young drivers, most notably W Series champion Jamie Chadwich, and Red Bull Junior Liam Lawson, who stood in at AlphaTauri for Daniel Ricciardo, after the Australian broke his hand in a crash at Zandvoort. 

Dicker also tried to get Rodin into F1. He claimed to have more than $500 million to support his entry, and the proposal of reserving a seat for a female racing driver, but his application was rejected by the FIA. 

David recently spoke on the renaming of the team, not making any mention of the Carlins:

“I am thrilled to lead Rodin Motorsport in this new era of our racing history.”

“The team has a tremendous racing pedigree which we will continue to build upon moving forward. The 2024 season is once again going to be an exciting year for everyone at Rodin Motorsport and I for one can’t wait to get back on track where we belong.

“Our core values remain the same and we continue to strive to be the leading junior motorsport team. Our commitment to the drivers, championships and staff remains unwavering; we are here to race, develop drivers and keep winning.”

Image Credits - James Gasperotti Photography


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