Speculation mounts over Renault after significant Hollywood-backed investment

Jamie Woodhouse
Esteban Ocon in the Alpine near the barrier. Monaco, May 2023.

天空F1 commentator David Croft believes Renault will be far from opposed to “spreading the load” on their F1 involvement through Alpine with the team having now gained further financial muscle.

Alpine lit up the internet when investment into the team worth €200m was confirmed by a group comprised of multiple entities, including Hollywood actors Ryan Reynolds, Michael B. Jordan and Rob McElhenney, which purchased a 24% stake in Alpine Racing Ltd.

The Alpine team came about in 2021 after Renault completed the rebranding of their works Formula 1 team, but could this be a sign that the French brand are now willing to dilute their stake in the outfit which they remain the owner of?

Renault happy to “spread the load” and build Alpine name

According to Croft, it is safe to say that Renault would not be against scaling back their stake in the team by any means, but also pointed out that the French brand will be looking for ways to strengthen the Alpine name with investment like this.

Asked by Sky F1 colleague Craig Slater whether this deal represents a clever injection of glamour into the Alpine team, or is a sign of Renault perhaps diluting their stake, Croft replied: “Could be a bit of everything to be honest.

“F1 is booming at the moment, we know that business is good, we know tickets are selling out, we know there’s more and more interest in the sport, viewing figures are up around the world not just in the UK, and it’s an attractive sport to invest in.

“But we also know that Renault wouldn’t be at all unhappy if someone came in to help spread the load a little bit and maybe to help increase the brand awareness of that Alpine name, which is synonymous in sports cars, but not necessarily known the world over.”


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Teams like Ferrari now worth around three billion

With Croft pointing out that the details of this Alpine investment means the team has a value of around €900 million, he proceeded to slap some figures on some of their rivals in the Formula 1 pit lane.

The values of each team has shot up in recent years as Formula 1’s popularity soars, with the franchise model introduced by Liberty Media working wonders, and Croft feels the likes of Ferrari with their F1 heritage would carry a value more than three times that of Alpine.

“What I do find really interesting about this story is that 200 million, for a 24% stake, might sound like a lot, it values the team at about €900 million, but what does that say for the rest?” Croft continued.

“Mercedes, how much are they worth? I think two billion. Ferrari, with a heritage in the sport, over three billion. And Red Bull, probably about two-and-a-half billion themselves.

“So all those that have invested wisely in these teams, could be sat on something of a goldmine. We used to say in Formula 1, what’s the quickest way to become a millionaire in Formula 1? The answer was start off as a billionaire and just wait a couple of years.

“Now we might have to flip that around a little bit and it just shows the attraction of the sport from a business perspective.

“And also the team’s argument that 600 million for a bond for any new teams coming in, is not actually a small sum of money. Compared to how much these teams are worth, they’re probably right on that.”

Alpine made their third visit to the Formula 1 podium a few races back when Esteban Ocon claimed a P3 finish at the Monaco Grand Prix, with the Frenchman having claimed their sole victory to date in the series at the Hungaroring in 2021.