May 29 (GMM/ An early frontrunner to be the twelfth team in 2016 has already emerged.

The FIA surprised the F1 media on Thursday by announcing it is searching for another team to join newcomer Haas, perhaps as soon as 2016.

Given it is already almost June, Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport on Friday suggested the only possible way a brand new team could be ready for 2016 is if ‘customer cars’ are given the green light.

Another possibility is that the identity of the twelfth team is already quietly known.

Auto Motor und Sport’s Michael Schmidt thinks one candidate makes a lot of sense — the leading GP2 team ART.

It is headed by Nicolas Todt, whose father is the FIA president Jean Todt, and already features the impressive McLaren junior Stoffel Vandoorne at the wheel.

As a McLaren-Honda ‘B’ team, ART’s F1 debut would also provide a route back onto the grid for Kevin Magnussen.

Asked if the FIA already knows the identity of the new 2016 team, spokesman Matteo Bonciani said on Friday: “The FIA has no particular candidate in mind. It could also be that a carmaker will apply.

“In the event that it is possible, we must put in place the necessary procedure, and that is what we have done,” he added.