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F1 2022

Billionaire reveals plan to set up new F1 team

Calvin Lo, a billionaire Hong Kong businessman, is exploring options for setting up an F1 team for 2026, with his hope being to decide on his approach "within a month or two".

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A billionaire businessman has revealed plans to set up a new F1 team for 2026.

Calvin Lo, chief executive of insurance broker RE Lee International, admits that he would ideally like to establish a new team but is open to buying into a current outfit on the grid.

The Hong Kong businessman hopes to decide on the approach he will take "within a month or two".

"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," Lo told BBC Sport of his plans.

"Based on the timelines, the sooner [to decide the approach] the better, right? It seems even now is a very tight timeline just to put something on the grid by 2026."

Lo has 'purely financial' interest in plans

Lo has stated that he would not be involved in the day-to-day running of a team, with his interest being "purely financial" though he is a fan of the sport.

With this in mind, he says that assessing the long-term financial liability is a key aspect of his plans, having suggested that the initial funding is "not the difficult part".

"It's how long you can sustain it," Lo continued.

"In this world, finding liquidity for one or two years, relatively it's 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 first year and win everything. The numbers must be very conservatively managed. I think that's the tricky part."

How Lo faces a 'hurdle' in navigating F1 world

The possiblity of another team joining the grid has been discussed in recent times, with Mario and Michael Andretti having voiced hopes of establishing a new team.

However, reaction amongst other teams to the prospect of an 11th outfit was mixed, and F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali stated in August that the sport did not need any new teams, though Michael Andretti recently claimed that the bid had made "pretty good progress" over the last two months.

Lo admits that learning to navigate the Formula 1 world could pose a challenge.

"We have a few parties that are trying to work with us, I suppose, who supposedly will help us navigate all that," he added.

"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."

Lo says that his interest in launching a team has been influenced by the growth of F1 in recent years and the extension of its fanbase amongst younger fans.

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