Midland F1 team sold to Spyker
The Midland Formula One team has been sold to Dutch sports car maker Spyker for $106.6 million, the two parties have confirmed.
The team, to be called Spyker MF1 Racing, will be a 100 per cent subsidiary of Spyker Cars N.V.
Mike Gascoyne, who left Toyota earlier in the season, will join as the Silverstone-based team's chief technology officer from November 1 while an announcement on the engine supplier was expected soon.
"The decision to sell the team has been one of the most difficult I have ever faced," said Alex Shnaider, the Russian-born Canadian billionaire who bought failing Jordan early last year and changed the name to Midland.
"It is never easy to relinquish something into which one has devoted so much energy and passion. However, as much as I had hoped to witness the continuing growth of the team under our ownership, I truly believe this transaction is in the best interests of everyone involved - Midland Group, Spyker, and the team."
"This is great news for F1. The entry of another car manufacturer is a further endorsement of the global appeal of the sport," said F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone.
Spyker, who currently make a loss but said they expected to be profitable this year, said Colin Kolles would remain as team principal with Michiel Mol joining the management board of both Spyker and Spyker MF1 as director of Formula One racing.
Mol is the founder of Dutch internet firm Lost Boys, a team sponsor and backers of Dutch driver Christijan Albers.
"Today my lifelong ambition became reality," Mol said. "After being involved with F1 as a sponsor of teams and drivers for almost 10 years I will now participate as a shareholder in a very ambitious manufacturer-owned team."