Could be sold by 2016
Berine Ecclestone says that Formula One could be sold by the end of 2015 with three interested in buying a stake the sport.
In a telephone call to the Camp Beckenbauer Global Summit in Kitzbuehel Ecclestone said “Our shareholders at the moment are basically in such a position where they have to lose some of their shares, or all of them, shortly.”
The 84-year old said there has been a lot of intrest from three parties and he would be “surprised if one of them don’t buy very shortly.” He says the time frame for the sale will be by the end of the year.
CVC Capital Partners are currently the controlling shareholders with a 35.5 percent stake, while Ecclestone holds 5.3 percent. Other shareholders include investment groups BlackRock and Waddell & Reed, along with Norway’s Norges Bank, are among other shareholders.
In June it was reported that RSE Ventures with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, was teaming up with Qatar Sports Investments to buy CVC’s stake in a potential $7 billion-$8 billion deal.
Ecclestone said in July that “lots of people have made approaches” and indicated he too might be interested in a takeover or buyout
Competitive in 2016 – Stevens
Will Stevens believes that Manor will finally be “competitive” in the 2016 and he will remain with the team next year.
It has been a difficult year for the team following the collapse of the team last year. Graeme Lowdon said last week that it has been a rebuilding year for the team when it was announced the team would have Mercedes power next year and a technical partnership with Williams.
Stevens told Autosport “Obviously this year was always going to be difficult, but with Manor I have good stability, I know the team well and I really enjoy working with everybody here”
He added “The package they’re bringing for next year is going to be a lot more competitive than what we’ve had this year.” The brit says it would have been nice to fight for position and points this year.
He says with regards to 2016 “At the moment, we’re trying to evaluate what we want to do and what we feel is the best move for my career for the next few years.”
Eager to return to cockpit – Merhi
Roberto Merhi says he is eager to return for this weekends Russian Grand Prix. The spainard lost his full time seat to Alexander Rossi who is driving at three of the five remaining races.
Rossi has opted for Russia and the season finale to focus on winning the GP2 championship where he is a distant second in the standings to McLaren’s junior driver Stoffel Vandoorne.
Merhi told Sky Sports that he “can’t wait to be back in the car in Sochi this weekend. It’s the first time I have raced here, but last year I took part in the FP1 session so I have some understanding of the circuit characteristics and this will be helpful for me after a couple of races out of the car.”
He added “I’ve continued to work very closely with the team during track sessions and engineering meetings, so I have a very good appreciation of the work we have completed.”
Cleaning circuits – Pirelli
Pirelli has confirmed they are work with the sport’s governing body the FIA to evaluate potential circuit-cleaning devices for Formula 1 Grand Prix’s.
The tyre manufacturers motorsport director Paul Hembery suggested track cleaning should be implemented following incidents during the Belgian Grand Prix weekend, headlined by blowouts on Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes and Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari.
At Spa there was 63 cuts to tyres during the weekend which Pirelli described as “an anomalous amount of detritus.” As ever the FIA is willing to consider any safety recommendations, with the idea of some form of standardised circuit cleaning being reviewed.
Hembery said it is not Pirelli’s job to define the process telling Autosport “But given the discussions we’ve had with the FIA I believe there is a recognition that maybe there needs to be a definition of a type of system that is used to clear the track, in particular when there are incidents.”
At some circuits they use motorised vehicles fitted with giant, directed fans are in operation. “That is the sort of thing I’m suggesting,” added Hembery.
“Maybe there is something that could be done, that doesn’t involve massive expense, which provides a standardised process.”
Double points score in Sochi
Force India are hoping to return to getting both cars in the points this weekend and are confident that another raft of developments will make the VJM08B a stronger proposition for Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg.
In Japan Hulkenberg was the only car to score for the team after Perez went off and suffered a puncher. Team boss Vijay Mallya is optimistic that the unique Sochi street course will play to Force India’s strengths as it attempts to cement a top five finish in the constructors’ standings.
The team wants to close the gap to Red Bull in the constructors championship but there main focus is on securing fifth overall under pressure from Lotus, which heads to Russia just 17 points adrift.