Asian-based group raises $1 billion for F1 entry
By Mat Coch
Friday 22nd September, 2023 - 10:13am
An Asian-based group looking to gain entry to Formula 1 has announced it has raised additional capital.
Lkysunz, pronounced ‘Lucky Suns’ has revealed it has secured $1 billion in support of its bid to join the F1 grid for the 2026 season.
The backing comes from Legends Advocates Sports Group, a US-based fund designed to help athletes manage their investments, with the team stating it would be prepared to stump up $600 million for its entry.
The cost of entry is one of the sticking points within the F1 paddock, with the current barrier placed at $200 million.
That sum is designed to compensate existing teams as the prize money pool from which they share would be further divided, thereby reducing their share.
“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,” said Benjamin Durand, Lkysunz CEO.
“With the news of our additional funding we are delighted to confirm that Lkysunz are prepared to meet the teams’ request and pay a $600m anti-dilution payment despite this current cycle of the financial regulations stating $200m.
“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,” he added.
“We know commercially the opportunity to expand the sport into Asia and Africa is 100 percent 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.”
While comparatively little is known publicly about Lkysunz, it promises to ‘bring a disruptive approach to the sport, merging today’s popular youth culture with the pinnacle of world motorsport’.
Durand has previously worked to gain entry into F1 under the Panthera name, with the Lkysunz project appearing to be little more than a rebrand of that effort.
It’s suggested the intent would be to run the team out of Asia, though initially would look to build the cars in Europe until its facility is ready.
The upper management of the team is known, but little more – there is no history of competition, which will likely leave it at a distinct disadvantage in the FIA’s vetting process.
Especially given it is in competition with the General Motors-backed Andretti Global effort, and an entry from the established Hitech operation, with the former the favourite to gain a berth – if any of the teams are accepted.
Lkysunz submitted its application for entry to the FIA in May, with the governing body currently working through those to assess whether any are worthy of a spot on the grid.