Following speculative talks over the purchase of the AlphaTauri Formula 1 team, Rodin Cars founder David Dicker has said that the $1bn price tag placed on the team is “commercially unviable”.
Rodin was one of three teams whose application to join the F1 grid was rejected by the FIA. Of the four applicants considered in Phase 2 of the process, Andretti Formula Racing was the ‘only candidate to meet the stringent criteria that were set by the FIA in all material respects’.
Andretti will now enter commercial discussions with Formula One Management (FOM).
With the arrival of an 11th F1 team facing criticism from incumbent competitors, prospective entrants have been encouraged to invest in existing outfits.
Australian billionaire Dicker has been investigating the options over purchasing an existing team, but his latest talks with AlphaTauri seem to have stalled.
“Well, I do have some talks about buying AlphaTauri, but the price is commercially unviable as far as I could understand it,” the Rodin Cars founder told RACER.
“You’ve still got to look at these things in commercial terms. And the F1 guys are experts on the motorsport side, but on the business side, I’m not so sure.
“I’ve had a few people talk about this and that, but nothing tremendously concrete. I do have a couple of things that I might get a bit more info in the next week or two about some possibilities there. But the value proposition is weak.
“I do have a project that I’m working on. It’s interesting and exciting, but I can’t talk about it quite yet, because I haven’t quite got it. But let me put it this way: I’m pretty pissed off about not getting into Formula 1, so I’m not just going to go away and sulk.
“That’s just the way that the way I am. I mean, you want to do things, and that’s what life’s about. You just try to do them. And if you can’t do it one way, then look for another way, or other ways, of doing things.”
Last week, it was revealed that Rodin Cars had had ‘the opportunity of discussions for a Ferrari collaboration’.
Had the car manufacturer been successful in its application, the team was committed to reserving one seat for a female driver – most likely three-time W Series Champion Jamie Chadwick who has been in a long-term partnership with the company since 2020.
Dicker, who purchased a majority stake in Carlin at the start of the year, claimed to be in the running when Williams went up for sale in 2020. The Australian also stated that he has discussed the possibility of a sale with Sauber and Haas in the past.
“I would [buy a team] if I thought there was a viable route, but paying $800-900million for [AlphaTauri] would probably not be considered commercially viable. But you know, just got to see if there’s possibilities.
“I made a mistake when Williams was for sale, because I could have bought that pretty easily. And I didn’t read the strategic landscape correctly on that with the way we made the bid, which in hindsight, was obviously a mistake. But there it goes.
“I had a lot of talks with Williams about buying Williams – saw all the numbers and sat through presentations and made them an offer and everything – and I’ve had a few guys talking about other teams from time to time.
“Mostly Sauber and Haas, which have more or less been on and off the market for years, and could have probably been bought for much lower numbers that made a lot more sense. And like I said, I probably screwed that up.”