Formula 1 legend Eddie Jordan isn’t convinced by the “sexy” numbers being suggested in the reported acquisition of Alpine F1 Team, criticising the “ridiculous” valuation placed on the French-owned racing team.
One person who knows a thing or two about the true value of a Formula 1 racing team, is Eddie Jordan: the former driver and team owner has become synonymous with F1 since his racing days, trading the steering wheel for commentary and media, more recently, even founding the eponymous Jordan Grand Prix back in 1991, handing an F1 debut to then-rookie, now-legend, Michael Schumacher at the Belgian Grand Prix the same year.
But the recent news that a consortium led by Wrexham AFC owners Ryan Reynolds, Michael B. Jordan (no relation) and Ryan McElhenney has purchased a 24% stake in Alpine Racing Team for a reported €200 million (~$330 million AUD) has Jordan perplexed, accusing the parties involved of fabricating the numbers:
“I mean it’s all very nice and very sexy to put these figures on things but they need to be supported, and they need to be authorised. What does that then value people like a Ferrari or a Mercedes or a Red Bull for example?”Eddie Jordan
The sale is fronted by two of Hollywood’s most prominent sports owners, Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, shifting their focus away from acting in recent years since their high-profile acquisition of Wrexham AFC. Reynolds and McElhenney have bought a 24% stake in Alpine through their production company, Maximum Effort, which is also part-owned by Hollywood star and “sexiest man alive” Michael B. Jordan.
Under their stewardship, Wrexham has achieved promotion back into the National Football League for the first time in 15 years, with back-to-back promotions on the agenda heading into the new season, and certainly, an influx of capital and optimism would be welcome at the British-based but French-owned F1 team whose recent results have been erring on the side of anonymity compared to their new A-list ownership.
The proposed minority acquisition of Alpine F1 Team puts its valuation at £706 million (~$1.3 billion AUD), which Jordan argues places it amongst the lofty heights of the sport’s most successful teams in history, Ferrari, Mercedes and Red Bull. He continued: “I find that in itself kind of strange to value something of that level at a gross value of £700 million (~$1.34 billion AUD). It’s preposterous. It’s ridiculous. That is what I consider to be the value of those teams, and I regret but with Alpine, it’s not even close to that yet.”
WATCH Formula 1 cars take over the streets of Las Vegas below.
There’s no question that with the increased interest in Formula 1 around the world, and specifically in the sports-crazy USA, F1 is becoming an increasingly lucrative global product. The value of the sport will only grow exponentially after the three confirmed US-based races in the 2023 schedule.
It’s undoubtedly led Reynolds, McElhenney and Jordan to want a piece of the racing action, with Red Bull Team Principle Christian Horner even admitting they brought back Daniel Ricciardo for his commercial potential stateside.
But is Jordan right, and is all the hype around F1 leading to some over-optimistic valuations? We’ll just have to wait and see.