Formula 1 is considering adding up to two teams — and a billionaire backer could tip the scales and expand the league’s geographic reach.
Calvin Lo, CEO of insurance company RE Lee International, is in talks with multiple potential entrants into F1. The FIA charges an entry fee of $200 million for new teams, though some existing teams want to increase that figure to $600 million or more.
“The financial part, believe it or not, to me, is actually not the biggest problem,” Lo told Reuters. “It’s actually gathering all the expertise … the mechanics, the whole team together into one unit.”
Lo, who is involved with the Williams team already, said there wouldn’t be a conflict of interest in backing a new team.
While he wouldn’t disclose his potential partners’ identities, Lo denied dealing with either the all-American tie-up of Andretti Autosport and Cadillac or the Hitech Grand Prix group, which already has a presence in Formula 2 and Formula 3.
Lo has said he wants to grow F1’s connections to Asia and has considered establishing a racing academy in Hong Kong.
F1 races around the globe, but 15 of its 20 drivers hail from Europe. The series has two Asian drivers, Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda.
F1 held its first race in China in 2004 but hasn’t done so since 2019 due to the country’s restrictive pandemic policies.