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Spyker in F1 bid

Tue, 29 Aug 2006 00:00:00 -0700

By Angus Fitton

Motor Industry

29 August 2006 11:01

Supercar maker Spyker could be set to join McLaren and Ferrari on the F1 grid in 2007.

Talks are underway between Spyker's CEO Victor Muller and the Midland F1 team. The outfit, owned by Russian-born Canadian steel magnate Alex Shnaider, is struggling, having put zero points on the board this season. Spyker has taken the unusual step of confirming rumours of negotiations between Shnaider and a group of Dutch investors, called M-consortium. Should the talks progress partial funding for the bid will be secured by the issuing of shares in the team. M-Consortium is led by Michiel Mol, founder of Dutch internet betting firm Lost Boys which already sponsors the Midland team.

The Silverstone-based Midland F1 has struggled since Schnaider bought the team from Eddie Jordan for a reputed £26.5m in January 2005. In bidding to take over an existing F1 team Spyker avoids the hefty $48m (£26m) entry bond required to buy a slot on the grid and the expense of setting up a new factory. For Spyker the tie-up would create an ideal opportunity to promote the Dutch sports car company in a sport second only to football in its popularity. Spyker, originally established in 1898 by a pair of coachbuilders builds around 100 aluminium-bodied C8 Coupes a year. The C8 can crack 0-62mph in 4.5sec and touch 187mph. Powered by an Audi twin-turbo V8, the C8 costs £171,000.

By Angus Fitton