Fash­ion mag­nate shops for F1 team

F1 Racing - - INSIDER -

Lo­tus, Cater­ham and Marus­sia jos­tle to be snapped up by bil­lion­aire be­hind Ralph Lau­ren

Bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man Lawrence Stroll is look­ing to buy an F1 team. The 55-year-old Cana­dian has held talks with Lo­tus, Marus­sia and Sauber, and, ac­cord­ing to in­sid­ers, is keen to buy a team so he has some­where for his 15-year-old son, Lance, a mem­ber of the Fer­rari Driver Academy, to race when he is old enough.

Stroll, who made his for­tune through the Ralph Lau­ren, Tommy Hilger and Michael Kors brands is cal­cu­lated by Forbes mag­a­zine to be worth $2.3bil­lion – putting him in the same wealth ball­park as F1 boss Bernie Ec­cle­stone.

He is a rac­ing enthusiast, but it is un­clear whether he un­der­stands ei­ther how much money he would need to buy a team, or the re­sources needed to run it ef­fec­tively there­after.

Nor is it en­tirely clear whether Stroll wants to buy a team out­right, or take a share­hold­ing that gives him some level of inuence. All three teams with which he has held talks are strug­gling nan­cially to one de­gree or another, and there is un­cer­tainty as to whether they will make it onto the grid next sea­son – as is also the case with Cater­ham.

Most back-of-the-grid teams are seek­ing new in­vestors in the wake of failed at­tempts to im­pose bud­get caps or mean­ing­ful cost re­duc­tions. The pre­car­i­ous nan­cial po­si­tion of some teams was high­lighted when Wil­liams, cur­rently ght­ing Fer­rari for third place in the con­struc­tors’ cham­pi­onship, posted losses of £20mil­lion for the rst half of 2014.

Mean­while Lo­tus, who lost £64mil­lion in 2013, say they have im­proved their nan­cial po­si­tion and cut their losses to £6m for the rst half of this year.

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