Haas F1 Owner Gene Haas Turns Down Investor Interest that Later Boosts Alpine’s Value to $200 Million

Haas VF23 GP (motorsportweek.com)

Haas Prefers Autonomy Over Investor Oversight, Rejects Proposal with 15% Annual Return Expectation

Gene Haas, the owner of the Haas Formula 1 team, has disclosed that he declined interest from a consortium of investors, including Otro Capital, which eventually invested $200 million in the Alpine Formula 1 team. The Alpine deal, announced in June, saw Otro Capital acquiring a 24% stake in Alpine Racing Limited, pushing the team’s valuation beyond €800 million.

Speaking about the decision to turn down investors, Haas expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed terms, stating, “They expect a 15% rate of return every year. Give me a 15% rate of return, and I have a couple of hundred million dollars I’ll give you!” He emphasized that the expectations and oversight demanded by such investors were not appealing to him.

While Haas F1 has faced challenges since joining the grid in 2016, achieving its best Constructors’ Championship position of fifth in 2018, it has struggled to maintain competitiveness in subsequent years. Haas employs a business model that involves taking non-listed components from Ferrari and is largely self-funded by Gene Haas’ tooling company, Haas Automation.

The rejection of investor interest aligns with Haas’ preference for autonomy and control over the team’s direction, emphasizing that he does not need external oversight from investors seeking substantial returns. The decision reflects Haas’ commitment to the existing business model, highlighting that there is more than one way to approach success in Formula 1, and the team will continue operating according to its preferred strategy.