Billionaire Hong Kong businessman Calvin Lo is exploring a plan to arrange a System 1 crew for 2026.
Lo, chief government of insurance coverage dealer RE Lee Worldwide, mentioned he was assessing the monetary necessities.
“Based mostly on what I am seeing proper now, it is extremely aspirational, but it surely looks like it may be finished if all the celebrities are aligned,” Lo, 46, instructed BBC Sport.
Lo mentioned his “ideally suited” can be to begin a brand new crew however he was additionally contemplating shopping for into an current one.
He mentioned he must determine his method “inside a month or two”.
“Based mostly on the timelines, the earlier the higher, proper?” Lo mentioned. “It appears even now’s a really tight timeline simply to place one thing on the grid by 2026.”
Lo, whose private internet value is estimated at $1.7bn by Forbes, mentioned he was an F1 fan, however that his ambitions within the sport are “purely monetary” and he wouldn’t be concerned within the day-to-day working of any crew he arrange.
Talking on a video name from his base in Hong Kong, he mentioned funding the set-up of a crew was “not the tough half” and the important thing to any resolution can be the mission’s monetary viability.
“It is how lengthy you’ll be able to maintain it,” he mentioned. “On this world, discovering liquidity for one or two years, comparatively it is simple. However are you able to final for 3 years… 5 years? That is the half that the crunching of the numbers is available in.
“I take a look at it identical to an funding. How lengthy do I’ve to amortise that value? At what 12 months, at what date, do we have to inject funds if it doesn’t hit sure targets?
“And, in fact, the targets should be set realistically. You can’t simply go in first 12 months and win every part. The numbers should be very conservatively managed. I believe that is the tough half.”
Lo mentioned the thought of organising a crew of his personal was “not one thing I actively went out and hunted for” and it “simply happened” because of being approached by groups eager to “discover whether or not I used to be involved in injecting funds”.
He mentioned he already had “monetary involvements in current groups” however was “not in a position to say” which of them due to “sure restrictions”.
A serious hurdle for any new crew is that F1’s guidelines dictate they need to pay $200m right into a “dilution fund”. That’s to compensate the prevailing groups for the potential lack of revenue attributable to the prize-money pot being cut up 11 methods moderately than 10.
The game can be reluctant to just accept any new groups due to concern as to whether or not they would have a constructive influence and obtain appropriate ranges of competitiveness. American racing legends Mario and Michael Andretti have to this point been unable to achieve settlement for their very own mission because of this.
Lo mentioned he had not but spoken to both the game’s governing physique the FIA or industrial rights holder F1 about his plans, saying conversations had been taking place “by way of intermediaries”.
He mentioned he was conscious of the limitations to F1 entry, including: “We now have just a few events which can be attempting to work with us, I suppose, who supposedly will assist us navigate all that. I don’t know how the intricacies of the F1 world are. And I believe if something, that would be the largest hurdle to kind a brand new crew.
“Possibly it is simpler simply to put money into a present crew. That is the simplest method – the inspiration is about, it’s already up and working.”
He mentioned he was “actively exploring” which method was greatest.
Lo mentioned the expansion of F1 lately had satisfied him this was the precise time to launch his mission.
“F1 has modified from earlier generations,” he mentioned. “Now it’s a lot youthful; the fanbase is far greater, a lot wider.
“Social media is an enormous factor now. The concept of the accessibility to the groups, drivers; it is probably not precise discussions with the followers but it surely simply makes it really feel a lot nearer.
“The viewers is far broader now than 20 years in the past.”