Midland sells MF1 Racing to Spyker

Spyker Cars has finally confirmed the acquisition of Midland F1 Racing. The new team will be called Spyker MF1 Racing and will be a 100% subsidiary of Spyker. Michiel Mol is to join the team as its director or F1 racing and will also become a member of the board of Spyker. Mike Gascoyne will become the Chief Technology Officer of the new team from November 1 while Colin Kolles will remain as the team principal for the moment. The deal values the team at $106.6m with an initial payment of $68.6m. A further payments of $15m will be made in September 2007 with the final $23m being paid in September 2008. The team has yet to announce what engines will be used in 2007.

"It is my strong conviction that F1 racing transmits values which are entirely in line with our brand values: heritage (as early as 1903 Spyker built the famous six cylinder four wheel drive 60HP Grand Prix racer), design, craftsmanship, performance and exclusivity," says team owner Victor Muller. "Moreover we expect that the Spyker road cars will seriously benefit from the F1 technology that we now have in-house. I am so proud of our team that worked around the clock to make this deal happen.

The news means that Alex Shnaider will bow out as team owner.

"I am proud to be leaving the team in a much better state than it was when we acquired it 20 months ago," he said. "Not only is it more financially stable, it is also more competitive at the track, and getting stronger all the time. The creation of the 2007 car is well underway, as are major upgrades to the wind tunnel facility. Investment into the team's technical development has continued unabated throughout the season. At the moment, Formula 1 is a much more mature and understood sport in Holland than it is in Russia. I believe the new owners will be well placed to exploit the commercial and nationalistic aspects of a Dutch identity, and this is something that can only benefit the team. My partner, Eduard Shifrin, left the decision entirely up to me, since he knows how important it is for me to see the team not only survive, but succeed. With this in mind, the new owners have demonstrated their ambitious plans to take the team forward to the next phase of its rebuilding programme. Spyker, headed by Victor Muller and Michiel Mol, consists of a strong group of investors with the resources, planning and capacity to further develop the team. I am confident that under their leadership, the future of the team rests in good hands, and I would not have agreed to this sale under any other circumstances."

It is anticipated that Spyker will try to do a deal for engines with Ferrari but with an asking price of $45m, the Ferraris may too expensive although we believe that Spyker will do a commercial deal with Ferrari for engines for the planned Spyker D12 Peking-to-Paris, a four-wheel drive, four-door, four-seater luxury Super Sports Utility Vehicle, which is due to go into production at the end of 2007.