Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, renowned actors and the masterminds behind the success of Wrexham football club, have set their sights on a new sporting endeavor by investing in the Alpine Formula One team. Following their unprecedented journey chronicled in the popular TV show "Welcome To Wrexham," the duo aims to replicate their triumphs in the world of F1, which is currently experiencing a remarkable resurgence in global popularity.
Alpine, a UK-based team situated in Enstone, Oxfordshire, and owned by renowned car manufacturer Renault, revealed on Monday that a consortium of investors had acquired a 24% stake in the team. Among these investors are Ryan Reynolds, celebrated for his iconic role in the Deadpool films, Rob McElhenney, renowned for his participation in the long-running sitcom "It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia," and joining the pair is co-investor Michael B. Jordan, the lead in the Rocky spin-off, Creed films.
The collaboration between Reynolds, McElhenney, and Jordan stems from their remarkable success story with Wrexham. In 2021, they purchased the struggling Welsh club, then competing in England's National League, and set out to transform its fortunes, capturing their efforts in a documentary series. In April of this year, Wrexham secured promotion to League Two, ending a 15-year absence from the league, and the news of a second season of the series produced by Disney further solidified their accomplishments.
Despite their lack of experience in football club management, Reynolds and McElhenney's achievements with Wrexham have emboldened them to venture into the realm of F1 alongside Alpine. The team itself aspires to ascend to the upper echelons of the sport. While no plans have been unveiled for a documentary series chronicling their F1 endeavors, the Drive to Survive show on Netflix has already captivated audiences with its season-long narrative, adding an extra layer of drama to the sport.
Drive to Survive, which premiered in 2019, covering the 2018 season, gained immense popularity by skillfully editing the stories to emphasize their dramatic aspects. The show was renewed for its fifth and sixth seasons last year and has played a significant role in expanding F1's fanbase in the United States, rekindling a level of popularity not witnessed in decades. This year, F1 will host three races in the US, namely in Miami, Austin, and Las Vegas, with the latter promoted by F1's owner, Liberty Media.
The investment made by Reynolds, McElhenney, and Jordan in Alpine, coupled with their active involvement in reviving the team's fortunes, provides a captivating storyline primed for dramatization, likely to resonate with the burgeoning US market. Alpine, formerly known as Renault, experienced significant success under the Renault brand, winning two driver and constructors' titles in 2005 and 2006 with the legendary Fernando Alonso. However, they have struggled to keep pace with the dominant forces in F1, namely Ferrari, Mercedes, and Red Bull, finishing fourth in the constructors' championship last season. Bridging this gap to the top requires infrastructure investments to modernize and expand their facilities.
Presently, Alpine's driver Esteban Ocon holds the ninth position in the drivers' championship, with his teammate Pierre Gasly just one spot behind. Since the team's rebranding as Alpine in 2021, they have achieved one victory and secured three podium finishes. The new investment is expected to leverage the investors' extensive experience in sporting franchises. The US-based group comprises Reynolds, McElhenney, and Jordan's Maximum Effort Investments, Otro Capital.