Panthera Asia F1 team ‘open’ to link up with prospective investor Calvin Lo

Calvin Lo. Singapore, October 2022. Credit: Alamy
Calvin Lo. Singapore, October 2022. Credit: Alamy

A co-founder of the Panthera Asia F1 team said the team are “open” to working with Calvin Lo after the billionaire expressed an interest in Formula 1.

The Hong Kong businessman emerged in December as a potential new face in F1 with the man worth more than $1.7 billion telling PlanetF1.com that he was exploring a way of getting onto the grid.

With Lo’s expertise in finance, he was looking to work with either an existing team or create an entirely new one in order to get into F1 and given his background, a perfect candidate may be the Panthera Asia F1 team.

Panthera are one of many names aiming to get onto the F1 grid but believe a 2026 spot is likely and have begun working on the FIA’s Expression of Interest process.

Asked by PlanetF1.com if a link up with Lo could be possible in the future, co-founder and team principal Benjamin Durand said they were “open to it.”

“We haven’t talked to Calvin Lo right now,” he told PlanetF1.com. “It was interesting to see his comments in the press because he’s saying basically also what we’re saying that the Asian market isn’t the focus right now, the US is.

“So everybody’s looking over there. They’re all looking west. Nobody’s looking east which is a mistake but also good for us because this is what we can bring. So there are a lot of things that are in line with Calvin Lo.

“I don’t have details about his project but we are open to everything. We are still in the stage if whoever comes can bring us something that can reinforce our project and reinforce the bid for F1 [then that is good].”

In response, Lo said he agreed that the East is a huge market and said that “conversations have already started.”

“These are exciting times for the F1 world,” Lo told PlanetF1.com. “Its popularity is increasing and everyone wants to be a part of it.

“If I am going to participate in F1 more than I already am, it will continue to be strictly on the financial side of things. The economics must make sense not just for the new team, but for all the existing teams.

“The issue is not the financial part of entering, but the sustainability of the new team, say after three years, five years, etc.

“With regards to Panthera Team Asia F1, I agree with them that the East is a huge market for F1. There are also engine manufacturers that I know as a fact would like to get into the sport. Conversations have already started so let’s see what will come out of it.

“At the end of the day, anyone who wants to be involved in F1 must bring something to the table that can make the current pie bigger. It’s not purely financials, but also human capital, new ideas, etc.”

Read more: Space for 12 teams on F1 grid? Panthera ‘not fighting for one spot’ against Andretti

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