Hitech GP launch exciting F1 2026 bid backed by Kazakh billionaire

Oliver Harden
Start of the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, June 2023. Results

Start of the Spanish Grand Prix. Barcelona, June 2023.

Hitech GP have officially launched an application to join the F1 grid in 2026 after receiving major investment from a Kazakh billionaire.

With teams currently competing in F2, F3 and F4, Hitech are a familiar name in junior racing circles and were founded by former Red Bull junior driver Oliver Oakes in 2015.

On Monday, a statement released by Hitech confirmed a 25 per cent stake in parent company Hitech Global Holdings Limited has been sold to Kazakh businessman and motor racing enthusiast Vladimir Kim, who according to Forbes has a net worth of $4.6 billion.

Having achieved a certain level of success in the junior categories, Silverstone-based Hitech says that gaining an F1 entry would be “a move that would complete its single-seater ladder and demonstrate that Hitech has all the right people, experience and resources to compete alongside the best teams in the world.

The bid comes after “20 months of planning and extensive preparation,” with Hitech currently boasting a workforce of more than 150 people.

Kim’s main interests are in the mining, banking and aviation industries, with his Kazakhmys and KAZ Minerals Group ranking among the top 10 producers of copper in the world.

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While his arrangement with Hitech is his first foray into motor racing, Kim has sponsored a number of Kazakh athletes in boxing and tennis over the years.

Kim said: “Motorsport has been a long-standing personal interest for me, and I am 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.

“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.”

Oakes added: “I am delighted to welcome Vladimir Kim to the Hitech group.

“During our discussions we found many natural synergies and I know that his support will be invaluable as we seek to build on Hitech’s success and work towards achieving its broader ambitions over the years to come.”

A number of familiar names have passed through the Hitech system on their way up the junior ladder, with the team winning a total of 10 races – but never finishing higher than fourth in the teams’ standings – since arriving on the F2 grid in 2020.

Former Haas F1 racer Nikita Mazepin took two wins in Hitech’s first F2 season, with Red Bull junior Liam Lawson also racing for the team in 2021.

Hitech are without a win in F2 since Juri Vips, the disgraced former Red Bull junior driver, won the sprint race at Monza last September.