Renault Bought Lotus F1 For £1

But what else could the French automaker have gotten? We venture into a British dollar store and investigate.

Clive Mason/Getty Images

File this one under “things coming full-circle.” Back in 2009, Renault sold its Formula 1 team to Luxembourg-based financial firm Genii Capital, which promptly renamed the squad Lotus F1 and wrapped the cars in black-and-gold livery. Plenty of nostalgia, sure, but the numbers never added up. So, according to The Telegraph, Genii has offloaded 90 percent of its stake in Lotus F1. The buyer? Renault. The sum? £1.

Yes, £1.

Now, of course, that’s only a formality. The deal is incredibly complex, involving several subsidiaries, organizational restructuring, nearly £100 million in shareholder loans and swapping more than 67 million shares. But still. One pound sterling. Which got us thinking: Besides an F1 team, what else can £1 get you?

That’d make Jim McCarthy laugh. He’s the CEO of Poundland, one of the U.K.’s largest retail chains, a wonderful and slightly hilarious take on the American dollar store. Each storefront is (often times literally) overflowing with a bizarre assortment of products, this florescent-lit labyrinth of consumer oddities. If you’ve ever needed cat food, decorative streamers, gloss varnish and a keyring knife, Poundland is your one-stop-shop. The company’s website, embracing the whirlwind, even has a randomized shopping widget, the Poundland Shuffle. Click the button, and it spits out random £1 product. Hosiery? Chewing gum? Superglue? WHO KNOWS, THAT’S THE FUN PART.

So, here, a brief and woefully incomplete list of things Renault could’ve bought instead of a failing F1 team.

Several hundred eyeballs, jiggly.
Tuna.
Sweet dart gun.
Whatever this is.
Lilac spatula.
Weird, gross British candy.

Our take? Considering Lotus F1’s financial health and current on-circuit assets, that bucket looks pretty damn good right about now. Or the tuna.

Yeah, definitely the tuna.