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Hollywood Enters the Ownership Side of the Formula 1 Paddock

(Photo: FIA Media)

Hollywood stars are no strangers to the glitz and glamour of Formula 1. From Tom Cruise being spotted in the Mercedes team garage to Bradley Cooper floating around on the grid pre-race, the who’s who of Hollywood will come out for the show of an F1 weekend. However, it is not often that those same Hollywood stars invest in the teams they are watching.

Enter stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, known for their roles in Marvel’s Deadpool and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, respectively, who have become no strangers to ownership of a sports team. Reynolds and McElhenney entered team ownership in November 2020 when they bought the Welsh soccer club Wrexham AFC. However, there’s a whole new beast when it comes to Formula 1.

Reynolds and McElhenney headline the investor group that has bought a 24% stake in Alpine, which consists of Orto Capital, Red Bird Capital Partners, and Maximum Effort Investments with a €200m cash injection into the Alpine Renault Formula 1 team.

In 2023, the Alpine team sits in fitth place in the constructor’s championship. Although one spot lower than last year’s final position, they sit firmly behind Red Bull, Mercedes, Aston Martin and Ferrari, leading the mid-pack teams. Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly have cemented themselves with consistent places in the top 10. The highlight of the season so far for the team came on the streets of Monaco when Ocon held on for a podium finish in third place.

So, where does this lead Alpine? For this year, they are in the same place as every other team in the F1 paddock: catching up to Red Bull. Coming out of 2022 as the “Best of the Rest,” hopes were high. However, comments from Alpine CEO Laurent Rossi around the Miami Grand Prix showed they were unhappy with how the season had gone up to that point. Although it was responded to almost immediately by Ocon’s impressive podium at Monaco, he and Gasly have continued to finish in the lower end of the points-paying positions.

The investment may not show immediate dividends, but the hope is that it can close at least some of the gap they have lost. Teams like Aston Martin, who have jumped ahead of Alpine from last year to this year, and Mercedes, continue to make strides in their designs to attempt to catch up to Red Bull, making it a bit more difficult for Alpine to make the leap they need. However, with time, everything may come to fruition.

One of the more interesting aspects of Reynolds and McElhenney entering motorsports ownership is that they are just another group of stars to enter this realm of motorsports in this age. They have joined the likes of Patrick Dempsey in the World Endurance Championship, Pitbull and Michael Jordan in NASCAR, and David Letterman in INDYCAR, who have put their names to a team in motorsports. This raises the question of who might be the next Hollywood figure to attempt to make their mark in the sport.

John Arndt is a graduate of Texas A&M University with a degree of communications who has been a life-long fan of NASCAR and motorsports. John is a member of The Podium Finish's photography team based in Texas and his home track is Circuit of the Americas. With a love of multiple racing series, he has started to write about Formula 1 and sports car racing to help expand the reach of The Podium Finish.

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