Hong Kong billionaire Calvin Lo interested in setting up F1 team for 2026

Hong Kong based billionaire Calvin Lo interested in setting up F1 team in 2026
Hong Kong based billionaire Calvin Lo interested in setting up F1 team in 2026

(Motorsport) Chief executive of insurance broker RE Lee International Calvin Lo has said that he is considering setting up a Formula 1 team for 2026 and is assessing the financial requirements for a potential deal. According to Forbes, Lo is worth 1.7bn and is said to be a Formula 1 fan but his interests in the sport are “purely financial” and he’s not expected to have a very hands on approach with the potential team he sets up. According to F1 rules, any new team must pay $200 million into a “dilution fund” in order to compensate for loss of income caused by the prize-money pot being split 11 ways rather than 10.

“Based on what I’m seeing right now, it’s highly aspirational, but it seems like it can be done if all the stars are aligned. Based on the timelines, the sooner the better, right? It seems even now is a very tight timeline just to put something on the grid by 2026. It’s how long you can sustain it. In this world, finding liquidity for one or two years, relatively easy. But can you last for three years… five years? That’s the part that the crunching of the numbers comes in.

“I look at it just like an investment. How long do I have to amortise that cost? At what year, at what date, do we need to inject funds if it does not hit certain targets? And, of course, the targets must be set realistically. You cannot just go in the first year and win everything. The numbers must be very conservatively managed. I think that’s the tricky part.”

Calvin Lo

Formula 1 is also reluctant to accept new teams out of concern on whether it could have a positive impact and if it can maintain a sustainable level of competitiveness which is why American racing legends Mario and Michael Andretti have been unable to get an agreement for their own project.

“We have a few parties that are trying to work with us, I suppose, who supposedly will help us navigate all that. I have no idea how the intricacies of the F1 world are. And I think if anything, that will be the biggest hurdle to form a new team. Maybe it’s easier just to invest in a current team. That’s the easiest way – the foundation is set, it is already up and running.

“F1 has changed from previous generations, now it is much younger; the fanbase is much bigger, much wider. Social media is a big thing now. The idea of the accessibility to the teams, drivers; it may not be actual discussions with the fans but it just makes it feel much closer. The audience is much broader now than 20 years ago.”

Calvin Lo

Also read: Formula 1 confirms six sprint race venues for the 2023 season


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