F1 entrant forced to apologise

Several companies and projects are interested in joining Formula 1 in the coming years.

In the midst of its bid to secure a spot in Formula One (F1) from 2025, aspiring team LKYSUNZ has issued an apology and clarification regarding a statement released ahead of the Japanese Grand Prix. 

The statement had claimed that the team had secured a “record” $1 billion investment, causing a stir in the F1 community.

LKYSUNZ, an Asian-based outfit, is among the contenders vying for entry into the world of F1. 

The decision on which applicants, if any, are deemed suitable for the sport lies with the FIA, the governing body of F1, and the series’ owners, Liberty Media.

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The initial statement had announced a significant investment from Legends Advocates Sports Group, a US-based sports fund, which would enable the team to meet a potentially inflated anti-dilution payment, currently set at $200 million as specified in the current Concorde Agreement.

CEO of LKYSUNZ, Benjamin Durand, offered an explanation, saying, “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.”

He continued, “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.”

Durand emphasised their commitment to diversify the sport and enhance its competitiveness, especially in Asia and Africa, stating:

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“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.”

However, both F1 and the FIA have maintained a discreet stance on the matter, given the intricate nature of the application process. 

LKYSUNZ, in response to the ensuing discussions, issued a revised statement to clarify their initial remarks.

The updated statement from LKYSUNZ read, “LKYSUNZ wishes to clarify its previous statement as it has led to some misinterpretation. 

“Our announcement was a statement of our intent to bring a globally focused and culturally diverse team to the grid for 2026.”

It continued, “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. 

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“Our statement was merely highlighting our preparedness to pay this amount should any future Formula 1 regulations state this.”

The statement also emphasised that their intention was not to cast aspersions on the FIA’s Expressions of Interest process or the discussions surrounding it. 

It concluded with a heartfelt apology, saying, “We apologise profusely for any misunderstanding that this may have caused.”