Posted on September 9, 2016
Formula One Reportedly Sold to U.S. Investor
The future of Formula One, a European-focused motorsport empire, may soon be in the hands of a U.S.-based investor. It’s hard to know who was luckier in the recent Formula One sale, Liberty Media for gaining control of Formula One, or F1 for getting $8.5 billion for it. Either way, it’s big news.
Formula One has not been that well-known in North America and we don’t always hear that much about it. But last weekend quite a few news outlets in Europe ran stories about a majority stake in F1 being sold to Liberty Media for that whopping $8.5 billion. Control of the commercial rights, which generate most of F1’s revenue, as well as its promotions, are now passing over to this side of the pond. All we know is that CVC who currently owns F1 has been trying to sell if off for quite a while now. It looks like they've found the right taker.
The deal will be taking place in a couple of different stages, one of which may involve the ousting of current F1 leader Bernie Ecclestone. For now, Ecclestone will keep the CEO title of the Formula One Group, but in the second stage of the sale there’s a chance he may be usurped by Alejandro Agag, the current Formula E head. We heard from digitaltrends.com that Ecclestone indicated he’d rather leave than be dictated to, which is understandable coming from someone who is used to calling the shots. Ecclestone’s absence, however, would mean major changes for F1.
There’s also a chance that Formula One will become more popular in North America after the sale. It is definitely the most prestigious and popular motor sport organization around the world, but it’s never been that well-known in the U.S. Liberty Media may change that.
The Grand Prix in the United States is now held in Austin, Texas at the Circuit of the Americas. But with the Texas state government withdrawing its funding of the event, no-one even knows if it’s going to happen. F1 event hosting venues worldwide are now doing their best to raise the millions of dollars needed to put on a race, which also involves F1 payments as organizers.
This year a new American team called Haas F1 was introduced, with drivers from Mexico and France and the car itself being developed in Italy with Dallara’s and Ferrari’s help. The times in motor car racing are up for a change and we can only wonder which way things are going to go.
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