F1 entry hopeful LKYSUNZ has moved to apologise for and clarify a statement released ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix that stated it had received a "record" $1 billion investment.
The Asian-based outfit is one of the teams known to be bidding to enter the sport from 2025, with the FIA process to decide on which - if any - applicants are deemed suitable for the governing body and F1 - and owners Liberty Media.
A statement was distributed notifying of a significant investment made by Legends Advocates Sports Group, a US-based sports fund, which would allow the team to meet a potentially inflated anti-dilution payment, which stands at $200 million as written in the current Concorde Agreement.
LKYSUNZ CEO Benjamin Durand said: “We have heard the comments of the teams and we wholeheartedly recognise the effort, commitment and investment that they’ve poured into the sport alongside the Formula One Group and FIA to bring it to its current level.
"With the news of our additional funding, we are delighted to confirm that LKYSUNZ are prepared to meet the teams’ request and pay a $600 million anti-dilution payment despite this current cycle of the financial regulations stating $200 million.
"We look forward to continuing our positive discussions with the FIA and are thrilled by our partners' financial backing.
"Our ambition has always been to ensure that the sport remains competitive whilst bringing true diversity into the paddock, which is vital for the long-term growth for all in Formula 1.
"We know commercially the opportunity to expand the sport into Asia and Africa is 100 per cent the right decision, it’s viable and most importantly it’s what prospective and current motorsport fans around the world are demanding.
"The significant financial commitment from our partners is an endorsement, and we are confident that our entry can propel the interest in the sport to reach new heights".
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F1 and the FIA have understandably remained tight-lipped over the subject given the intricacies of the process.
But the statement of intent from LKYSUNZ hinted at the matter being one purely driven by financial power, with a new statement now clarifying the comments originally made.
"LKYSUNZ wishes to clarify its previous statement as it has led to some misinterpretation," the statement read.
"Our announcement was a statement of our intent to bring a globally focussed and culturally diverse team to the grid for 2026.
"A number of Formula 1 Team Principals have publicly stated to the media that they feel a $600 million Anti-Dilution payment is a more appropriate sum for any future new teams to pay. Our statement was merely highlighting our preparedness to pay this amount should any future Formula 1 regulations state this.
"At no point was this intended to be a reflection on the FIA’s Expressions of Interest process or the discussions that have occurred around it.
"We apologise profusely for any misunderstanding that this may have caused."