Hitech Grand Prix has confirmed it has made a bid to enter Formula 1 alongside an announcement that Kazakh businessman Vladimir Kim has purchased a 25% stake in its holding company.
The UK-based racing team currently operates in Formula 2, Formula 3 and Formula 4, and had been fully owned by Oliver Oakes since early last year when Dmitry Mazepin was among those reinquishing control of Hitech following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with Hitech Global Holdings Ltd established to take control of the shares after sanctions were imposed on Russia.
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Kim’s business interests are in large part in the mining, banking and aviation sectors in Kazakhstan, but he wants to get involved in motorsport, and in announcing his investment Hitech has also confirmed it is one of the teams that has submitted a bid to join the F1 grid .
“In 2023, after 20 months of planning and extensive preparation at its Silverstone base, Hitech made its application for entry into the FIA Formula 1 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 alongside the best teams in the world,” he confirmed.
The FIA is currently analyzing the different expressions of interest after closing the submission period, although F1 CEO Stefano Domenicali has made clear his own desire not to add any new teams. Kim suggests those F1 hopes were one of the attractive aspects about Hitech when he agreed to the partnership, but he is focused on global motorsport.
“Motorsport has been a long-standing personal interest for me, and I am delighted to be entering into a partnership with an organization that has enjoyed success in so many categories and has such ambitions for its future,” Kim said.
“We have an established involvement with sport; however, this is our first global investment in motorsports. Its dynamic appeal, growing exposure, business-to-business marketing opportunities and burgeoning fan base are aligned with my ambitions personally and commercially.”
Oakes himself added: “I am delighted to welcome Vladimir Kim 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.”
Story originally appeared on Racer