Hitech Grand Prix applies to enter F1 in 2026

Kazakh billionaire Vladimir Kim purchases 25 per cent in Silverstone outfit to provide funding.
  • Kazakh billionaire Kim purchases 25% stake
  • 75% of team to be held by Oliver Oakes through Hitech Global Holdings
  • F1 CEO Domenicali doesn’t want more than 20 cars on grid

Hitech Global Holdings has stated its intention to enter the 2026 Formula One season through its Hitech Grand Prix team.

This next phase of the team’s growth has been solidified by significant investment from Kazakh billionaire Vladimir Kim, who has purchased a 25 per cent stake in the Silverstone-based outfit.

Kim’s main holdings are in the mining, banking and aviation sectors, and he is president of one of the world’s largest copper producers, Kazakhmys.

A Hitech statement claims this move has been in the works for ‘20 months’, and Kim’s financial weight will erase any doubts over funding. Bloomberg estimates his net worth to be around US$5.92 billion.

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

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

However, in opposition to this goal, Formula One chief executive Stefano Domenicali has maintained that he does not want to see more than 20 cars on the Formula One grid.

BlackBook says…

Hitech Grand Prix has a fairly cloudy ownership history, with close links to Dmitry Mazepin, the Russian billionaire owner of Uralkali.

Between 2017 and 2022, control of the team has bounced between Fungosa Management, a company that has trademarks associated with Mazepin, Uralkali itself, and Bergton Management, a Cypriot-based company that is reportedly owned by Mazepin.

Hitech Global Holdings, a company set up by Hitech Grand Prix founder Oliver Oakes, purchased full control of the team from Bergton Management on 15th February 2022. Notably, this was nine days before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

If this entry is to be successful, any links to the Russian oligarch need to be demonstrably severed. Formula One has made its position clear at the time of the invasion and continues to do so.

The series terminated its US$53 million race contract with Russia, his son Nikita Mazepin was sacked by the Haas Formula One team, and plans for Formula One’s return to South Africa have reportedly been shelved due to the country’s political links to Russia.

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