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Hitech confirm F1 bid following billionaire backing

British racing team Hitech has announced its intention to join the F1 grid in 2026, after Kazakh billionaire, Vladimir Kim, acquired 25% of the company.

After many successful years in junior formulas, Hitech GP is aiming to enter the pinnacle of motorsport, in a move that would “complete its single-seater ladder.”

A Hitech statement read:

“In 2023, after 20 months of planning and preparation at its Silverstone base, Hitech made its application for entry into the FIA Formula One World Championship from the 2026 season, a move that would complete its single-seater ladder and demonstrate that Hitech has all the right people, experience and resources to compete against the best teams in the world.”

Hitech GP Ltd was founded in 2015 by Oliver Oakes. In less than a decade, it has expanded to six teams across all junior categories. The team currently employs more than 150 people at its Silverstone base.

Speaking on the acquisition by Vladimir Kim, CEO Oliver Oakes added:

“I am delighted to welcome Vladimir to the Hitech group. During our discussions we found many natural synergies and I know that his support will be invaluable as we seek to build on Hitech’s success and work towards achieving its broader ambitions over the years to come.”

Who is Vladimir Kim?

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Vladimir Kim is a Kazakhstani businessman and billionaire. In 2022, he was ranked Kazakhstan’s richest man for the fifth year in a row, with an estimated worth of $5 billion.

He made his fortune in mining, banking and aviation. Kim is a major shareholder in KAZ Minerals PLC, who are one of the top 10 copper producers globally.

However, the 62-year-old expressed his love for motorsport following his purchase of Hitech GP:

“Motorsport has been a long-standing personal interest for me, and I am delighted to be entering into a partnership with an organisation that has enjoyed success in so many categories and has such ambitions for the future.

“We have an established involvement with sport; however, this is our first global investment in motorsport. It’s dynamic appeal, growing exposure, business-to-business marketing opportunities and burgeoning fan base are aligned with my ambitions personally and commercially.”

Entry into Formula 1 would mark the end to a turbulent year at Hitech GP. Their sponsorship contract with Russian chemical company, Uralkali, was terminated as CEO Dmitry Mazepin was put on the EU sanctions list. Obviously, in response to the ongoing conflict with Ukraine.

The British team were sponsored by the company since 2016, with the CEO being the father of former Haas F1 driver Nikita Mazepin.

Hitech were thrown into further turmoil, when driver Juri Vips used a derogatory racial slur during a live stream.

More teams to follow?

This could be the start of an exciting time in Formula 1. The FIA formally launched the process for teams to gain entry into the F1 championship back in February.

Andretti and Cadillac then announced their joint bid in pursuit of entering Formula 1.

Hitech are rumored as a potential replacement for Alpha Tauri. Helmut Marko recently confirmed a name change ahead of the 2024 season, but Red Bull have shut down any claims their sister team will be sold.

While it’s still early, F1 could be looking at a 12 team grid for the first time since 2010.


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