Life insurance tycoon Calvin Lo

Rumor: Calvin Lo may join Panthera Asia F1 team entry (2nd Update)

Hong Kong-based billionaire Calvin Lo, who already has financial links to Formula One team Williams, says he would like to see a greater Asian presence in F1 and is in talks with potential new teams.

The chief executive of insurance broker RE Lee International told Reuters he was considering backing a bid to enter in 2026 and money was not the major hurdle.

While he would not identify the teams, he ruled out involvement in a planned all-American Andretti Cadillac outfit and another Hitech Grand Prix one.

“The financial part, believe it or not, to me is actually not the biggest problem,” he told Reuters at his Hong Kong headquarters in the central business district.

“It’s actually gathering all the expertise … the mechanics, the whole team together into one unit.

“So right now there are a few opportunities coming up, have come up, and we are talking quite seriously with a few teams.”

“I’m just here waiting, looking at the reports, looking at the numbers, making sure everything looks fine for the long term,” he said.

Lo also said Liberty Media-owned Formula One had been “focusing too much on the U.S.” and needed to pay more attention to Asia and its potential.

“I think there are a lot more Asian players, investors, who want to get into this sport – more than we could ever imagine,” he added, mentioning also car manufacturers in Japan, South Korea and China.

“I’m fortunate enough to be able to know many of them and they’ve sounded out and expressed their interest in getting involved. So a consortium, pool resources together,” he added of those unidentified investors. Source

January 9, 2023 

After this rumor surfaced below in the wee hours of Monday morning, a co-founder of the Panthera Asia F1 team told the team are “open” to working with Calvin Lo after the billionaire expressed an interest in Formula 1.

In the Formula 1 world, Lo is unknown, although he reportedly has close ties with the Williams team. He prefers not to talk about that.

“We haven’t talked to Calvin Lo right now,” or so he admitted to “It was interesting to see his comments in the press because he’s saying basically also what we’re saying that the Asian market isn’t the focus right now, the US is.

“So everybody’s looking over there. They’re all looking west. Nobody’s looking east which is a mistake but also good for us because this is what we can bring. So there are a lot of things that are in line with Calvin Lo.

“I don’t have details about his project, but we are open to everything. We are still in the stage if whoever comes can bring us something that can reinforce our project and reinforce the bid for F1 [then that is good].”

In response, Lo said he agreed that the East is a huge market and said that “conversations have already started.”

“These are exciting times for the F1 world,” Lo told “Its popularity is increasing and everyone wants to be a part of it.

“If I am going to participate in F1 more than I already am, it will continue to be strictly on the financial side of things. The economics must make sense not just for the new team, but for all the existing teams.

“The issue is not the financial part of entering, but the sustainability of the new team, say after three years, five years, etc.

“With regards to Panthera Team Asia F1, I agree with them that the East is a huge market for F1. There are also engine manufacturers that I know as a fact would like to get into the sport. Conversations have already started so let’s see what will come out of it.

“At the end of the day, anyone who wants to be involved in F1 must bring something to the table that can make the current pie bigger. It’s not purely financials, but also human capital, new ideas, etc.”

January 8, 2023 

The Panthera Asia F1 team was launched in 2019 and like Andretti, they are expected to go through the FIA’s new Expression of Interest process with a view to joining the grid in 2026.

Panthera co-founder Benjamin Durand told that he believed there was enough room for both his team and Andretti’s.

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“[Per the regulations] 13 teams could be in Formula 1,” Durand said. “That doesn’t mean that there will be 13 teams, but that means that if there are three good teams and those three good teams bring something to F1, they [the FIA and F1] can accept three more teams.

“So it’s not that we’re fighting for one spot with Andretti or that it’s going to be Andretti or us.

“I cannot comment on the merit of the Andretti bid. It seems that he has a lot of positive things for him and is ticking all the boxes. But him coming to F1 doesn’t prevent us from coming.”

“We don’t see each other as competitors. First of all, we are not on the same market. We have a lot of things that are similar in the way that they will be racing out of the US and we will be racing out of Asia but they now have the support of a manufacturer. An entity that is already racing, so I cannot compare myself to them.

“We can only talk about what we think we can deliver, the merit of our project and we think that our project is good enough to appeal to the FIA and F1 to get an entry.”

And now there are rumors that billionaire Calvin Lo may strengthen the Panthera Asian team bid by throwing his money behind the effort.

Lo recently said he was looking at several options to buy into an F1 team. His preference would be for an existing team, but none are currently for sale as Andretti found out. Plus Porsche is also looking to buy into an existing team and so Lo would be up against Porsche in that regard.

With Panthera, already an Asian effort, Lo may be able to bolster their viability by bringing some real Asian commercial synergies.

Mark Cipolloni (aka Mark C.) reporting for


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