1. Carlos Slim Helu & family

Age 81
Net worth $68.6bn
Source of Wealth Grupo Carso
Nationality Mexican
F1 involvement Driver sponsor

Previously the wealthiest person globally and Mexico’s richest man Carlos Slim Helu controls América Móvil, Latin America’s most prominent mobile telecom firm.

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Grupo Carso, one of the world’s giant conglomerates, also owns stakes in Mexican construction, consumer goods, mining, real estate companies, and 17% of The New York Times.

Despite his vast wealth, he lives in a “modest” 6-bedroom home in the Lomas de Chapultepec district of Mexico City, close to where he grew up, which has been his residence for over 40 years.

He also owns the Duke Semans mansion on Fifth Avenue in New York City, one of Manhattan’s largest private residences.

Amongst his billionaire toys are a rare Bentley Continental Flying Spur and the 170ft $40m superyacht Ostar.

His collection of rare coins, historical documents, and religious relics, valued at a billion dollars, are housed in the Museo Soumaya, which he built in 2011, naming the museum after his late wife.

The Carlos Slim Foundation has donated billions of dollars over the years to social responsibility programs.

His involvement in F1 with his son Carlos Slim Domit has been the financial backing of Mexican driver Sergio Perez.

It all started with their Telmex telecoms company sponsoring Perez’s career from the Skip Barber single-seater series in America.

Perez’s father, Antonio Perez Garibay (known as Tono), a former driver and agent, was so passionate about motor racing he moved his son’s scheduled birth date by a week.

Tono convinced the family doctor to perform a Caesarean so he could attend the 1990’s 24 Hours of Daytona a week later!

Tono met Carlos Slim Domit in 1996 and told him that his son was the best of the rookie go-kart drivers proclaiming, “Checo is a better driver than [Michael] Schumacher. He’ll race in Formula One one day.”

So began a long association with Perez throughout his career with Sauber, McLaren, Force India, Racing Point, and Red Bull.

Perez landed the deal to drive for Red Bull in the 2021 season, and ironically for the first time in his career, the money he could bring to the team played no significant part in Red Bull’s decision.

In 2011 Carlos Slim Domit was instrumental through his association with the entertainment company CIE in bringing back F1 to Mexico.

In 2019 newly elected president Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador used $21m in federal funds usually set aside for the Formula 1 race on a rail project in Mexico’s impoverished south and announced it would no longer subsidize the Grand Prix once the existing contract expired at the end of the year.

Without government funding, the organizers OCESA, a subsidiary of CIE, were faced with the prospect of withdrawing from F1.

Then the mayor of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum Pardo and a group of business owners forged a partnership. The Mexico City Government acting as an intermediary, created a trust that raised the private investment required to stage the Grand Prix, thus relieving the city government of the burden.

They signed a new three-year deal, ensuring the future of the race until at least 2020, with the name of the race changed from the Mexico Grand Prix to the Mexico City Grand Prix.

It is unknown if Carlos Slim Domit was one of the ‘business owners’, but it is highly likely.

What influence does Carlos Slim Helu have in F1?

It is limited to backing one driver, so tiny especially compared to what power he could hold if he decided to spend more of his vast fortune.

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